[Posted: Mon 19/10/2009]
Migrainemonitor.ie, the innovative website developed by Irishhealth.com has won the ‘Best Use of Information Technology’ in the The 2009 Irish Healthcare Awards. The initiative aims to support and help minimise the impact of migraine on sufferers, family, work and social life. It was developed with the support from the Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI).
The system uses technology to allow patients better manage their migraines, by quickly and easily updating their personal online Migraine Monitor Diary direct from their mobile phone via SMS. This diary then assists them, and their healthcare professional, to identify trigger factors for their attacks and frequency, which helps to improve the management of migraines. Traditional methods of documenting attacks involve patients recording details in a paper diary before visiting their healthcare professional, which led to patients forgetting or misplacing their diaries, as well as issues around legibility and difficulties in analysing manually entered data.
To use the service, people first log on for free registration with Migrainemonitor.ie and from that point whenever they experience a migraine attack they can directly update their records by texting the word ‘PAIN’ and the level of pain intensity (scale of 1-10) being experienced to the number 57500. A comment can also be added to this text message, such as timing of attack, related trigger etc (e.g. PAIN 5 – felt ill last night). Users can also log on to the website and add further information about that particular attack to assist in identifying any common patterns or causative triggers. The service also allows them to print off their personal record and bring it to their next healthcare professional visit.
Several hundred people have already registered and regularly use the website, launched in March of this year, with around 5,200 ‘unique visitors’ having logged on, viewing in total over 16,500 pages. In addition to this existing patient service, there are plans to develop the service further to allow healthcare professionals log in and remotely review their patients’ records – representing a real step towards the gold standard of telemedicine.
According to the MAI, around half a million people in Ireland live with migraine. The condition is estimated to cost Irish businesses €250 million every year as a result of loss in productivity, with the average sufferer being absent from work between 1.5 and 4.5 days annually.