Students develop app to monitor patient’s health and fitness
DUBAI // Getting fit these days invariably means strapping some kind of gadget to your wrist as well as lacing up your running shoes. But whereas most devices are tailored towards dropping the extra pounds, they often do not take into consideration those with existing health conditions.
Students at the University of Wollongong Dubai have developed an app targeting patients either at high risk or suffering with high cholesterol, which is believed to be around half the population or higher, according to research and a side effect of the country’s obesity problem.
The app, MyChol, currently designed for android platforms, acts as a tracking system whereby between checks doctors have a logged history of what the patient has been doing, in addition to guiding patients on things such as diet and exercise levels.
The student team are working with a general practitioner at a local hospital who is helping guide them on what would be useful to both patients and doctors.
Dr Zeenath Khan, the instructor on the project, said: “The key we’ve found is the need to keep that connection between the doctor and the patient between visits so when the patient returns, the doctor has no idea what’s been happening. With this, they’ll hopefully have a better tracking system. This is not a standalone app but something which must be used with the doctor. It can’t substitute the doctor.”
The app includes diet logs and step trackers but adds unique features such as cholesterol level logs as well as calculations based on factors specific to the patient. For example, certain foods or exercise levels will not be appropriate for someone with diabetes or obesity and as such the app tailors the advice to the varying factors.
“We asked the doctor which features she would like to see on the app so it is as useful for them as it is the patient,” said student Emad Al Agha, 21.
“The doctor is a very important user of the app,” said Hassan Saad Ali, 21.
Waleed Al Kiswani has seen how useful it could be for people like his uncle. “He always has to write everything down by hand, his food, his exercise, everything, so we wanted to create something easy enough to use that people really will stay engaged and use it.”
MyChol also reminds patients of upcoming tests and checks, as well as taking medication, said Masood Iqbal, 22. “We really want to develop a wider database of the foods next,” he said. “There is a lot of variation between brands and types of foods.”
Updated: June 1, 2015 04:00 AM