This is a story of how a new medication adherence & treatment management platform, TrackMyStack.com — helps people manage their daily health regimen.
Whether it’s for managing a chronic health condition or a personal health goal, such as: reducing anxiety or building muscle. Anyone can quickly learn about alternative treatments or interventions and find others just like them. The new age of health is focused on patient education and emphasizes autonomy over one’s own health.
About 125,000 deaths occur annually in the United States due to non-adherence to medical treatments. Now that I’ve got your attention (hopefully!) let me tell you more about what adherence means in our context; it means taking the right dose at the right time and frequency of whatever needs to be taken.
The reason people become non-adherents is because they either forget to take their medication, run out of it, feel that it is ineffective and or because of side effects.
The best way to address these issues is to provide reminder cues, providing education about the disease & treatment, and a social community for reinforcement. This was our vision, creating a platform where people like you and I can play a more active role in managing our own health and wellness.
Tracking & Reminder Tools For Patients
We would provide tools for users to record their daily activity (ODL’s) in an attempt to find triggers causing flare-ups or potential relapses. The user would also record the effects (positive or negative) of a drug or supplement that is being taken. These entries and any changes made to a regimen would all be logged as part of a health journal.
The simple, noble idea is to help people that want to practice ‘participatory medicine’ by encouraging them to make a stack of what needs to be taken, help them adhere to the stack, and let them track any side effects and symptoms, and quite possibly help educate them on better alternatives if possible and if needed.
This data in our mind was then to be donated for free to researchers, which would in someway accelerate research and development of new and improved treatments. At the moment, we are not there yet; we are lacking a lot key data to that is needed to draw any conclusions based on statistical significance.
However, we have received many emails from users letting us know that they were grateful for apps like ours in dealing with their health issues.
I think if you are reading this and have a regimen, to manage a condition or just want to track any health goal you may have, you should give us a try.
The data is aggregated (and if need be anonymized) to provide everyone access to insights that were previously only available to larger pharmaceutical companies and researchers, but now can be reviewed and beneficial for all.
The CDC states the leading causes of death in the US are: heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, respiratory diseases, and oral conditions, all of which to an extent it considers ‘preventable’ rather than infectious disease (communicable) which was the leading cause of death decades ago.
Whether it is because of modern medicine or because they were just naturally declining is up for debate. [http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/pdf/2009-Power-of-Prevention.pdf]
A Database of Information on Treatments
With the data, we are able to carefully construct educational pages on supplements, drugs, diseases, and of course stacks. The content pages look more and more like infographics. As an example, the page on ADHD shows: the most common supplements and medications for the condition, demographic/population, the dosage, frequency, and most common side effects of these treatments as reported by real users.
Leveraging Technology Further for Deeper Insights
We are parsing existing studies to suggest if certain supplements in a stack provide a positive or a neutral interaction – this is a start. In the future, we may be able to provide actionable insights on a treatment based on similar patients (as a second opinion to be reviewed by an expert). We are slowly integrating with many other trackers to pull data in automatically, which will help with this.
Imagine compiling your data from 23&Me (personal genomics company) and overlaying it with daily health activity combined with your medical history; then using predictive modeling to render potential outcomes. I am grossly oversimplifying everything here, but you should get the general idea as to what will be possible in the very near future!
Prevention is better than the cure — with TrackMyStack you can track your health regardless of if you have an existing condition or not. We set out to address all three issues of adherence (and are still working on it) but have a much bigger mission now. We hope this data will be meaningful for research purposes and hope you are able to optimize your health faster, and with more precision because of it. Consider sharing this article with someone undergoing a treatment so they can help themselves and with that help others as well. Remember, there is no right age to be proactive about your health, it’s good to start early and the time is now.