Expect Zebras – The Chronic Condition App : Joints just got serious

At Christmas I got utterly overexcited about a concept App for EDS and related conditions. We created version 1.0 with some of the basic functionality, but no cross platform compatibility (it only works on Android phones) and only a few features. Still, it was a start.

This week with more dislocations & some inyeresting work antics has given us a firm shove towards creating the everso slightly more awesome product that we had envisioned. The concept is more complex than just an app and will shortly be appearing on Kickstarter (we’re working out our minimum goal right now as the biggest outlay is getting a whole load of wristbands & keyfobs printed & encoded).

As someone with EDS, POTS, CRPS and other fun that goes with it, I needed a fair amount of help organising my life (major brain fog altert!). As the possibility of a personal assistant was looking unlikely, we wondered if we could use our background in programming to create a solution. What if I could use my phone to record when I took medication? What if I could get a reminder when I’m due my next dose? What if my husband didn’t need my phone to see what I last took and when? Ooh what if that could be combined with wearable tech? [Insert nerdgasm here]… So we got going.

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Expect Zebras is a connected wristband (or keyfob), app & website trio allowing you to be an expert patient and fully in control of the management of your condition by putting your data at your fingertips. Allowing you to use objective data to give you the confidence to talk to your caregivers assertively whether they be your primary doctor, specialist, physio, or carer.

No more leaving appointments in frustrated tears because doctors won’t listen. Appeal to their natural scientist with clear data, presented in a medically understood format.

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The Wristband
Worn like a watch, and totally waterproof, this uses near field communication, much like your contactless payment card, except it gives you the ability to hold access to your emergency medical information through connection to a mobile device. In the event of an emergency, you can choose to have anything from just your diagnosis & next of kin phone number to full details your medication, routines, and scanned documents available via a mobile web page with a pin accessed via the back of the band. No app required, making it easy for medical professionals to help you quickly using just their mobile phone.

As you update your app whilst wearing your wristband, the data on your wristband updates too!

The App
Allows you to access and update your web account & will also allow additional functionality such as a panic button with current location via GPS which sends a distress SMS to your chosen next of kin or carer, converting photos of letters / medical notes to PDF files to create your own version of your medical notes. (I found this particularly useful last week when I was in A&E), or taking a video of your physio exercises to replay with a timer / rep count. For POTS sufferers, an additional feature of heart rate recorder & graph will be included for those with compatible phones.

The app will be free to download but will require an online subscription to save & backup data to the website.

Combined features with the wristband are to update the time & date when you last took regular medication with a reminder on the app for your next dose. Dates to remind of medical appointments, when to order repeat prescriptions, and allergies.

The Website
Whilst an app is great for data required on the go, the website provides a place to view your scanned files, reports on when and how often you are taking medication (coupled with your pain level ratings) recorded from the app.

From the website, you can download doctor, physio, and carer friendly reports in PDF format to print or email to your care provider. Your report will be customisable with filters for dates, symptoms and graphical analysis.

Combined features with the app & website will include medication taken can be updated by scanning a printable barcode for each. By sticking these onto your medication box or pill box and scanning each time you take a dose, you need not type in your medication more than once. By updating your “taken medication”, the app will record your time & date of dose and synch the data with the website & wristband.

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There’s a lot to do, and the wish list is extensive. But with a condition that on average takes 10 years to receive a correct diagnosis, sometimes you have to fight science with science.

To keep up to date with our progress, please visit and like our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ExpectZebras  or follow us on Twitter – @ExpectZebras.

We also need help from people with chronic conditions to tell us what they want from the app : Please complete the quick survey to help here

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7 thoughts on “Expect Zebras – The Chronic Condition App : Joints just got serious

  1. You Go Girl! Fight science with science and appeal to their natural scientist. I despise when they make EDS out to be a mental or emotional issue. Having the actual facts might cause the right person to stop and take the time and energy to actually think. More thinking about it might bring us some answers.

    Like

  2. Following on from the post I just commented on, in terms of careers and work, perhaps instead of thinking you’re stopping work, think you’re changing from teaching to developing the app? To try and sort my head out with reducing hours or stopping work, I opened an Etsy shop selling photos. It is something I can do but at my own pace

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is going to be a breakthrough system for people with all illnesses – chronic, genetic illnesses like EDS, illnesses like diabetes, mental illness and illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s. I truly believe in this project and am super proud to know such clever people! Not to mention people who when faced with a really rubbish illness tackle the issues associated in dealing with it head on!

    Liked by 1 person

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