Healthy Living

A New App Is Changing Multiple Sclerosis Self-Care

The app educates, too

The app covers many factors that have been shown through research to impact MS related fatigue. The app doesn’t seek to just intervene though. Education is an important part of it. MS Energise first discusses with users the difference between fatigue and just being tired. The app also looks at all the different factors in our personal and larger environments that can contribute to this fatigue. They advertise that this includes behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and individual bodily factors. The app then teaches users fatigue self-management techniques that they will ideally be able to use into the future, and seeks to help them avoid losing any progress they have made while using the app. Each module that users work through contains information that enables the user to apply the skills he/she has learned to his/her everyday life. The goal is to help the user become more independent and successful in managing one of the most debilitating complications of MS.

The “learn” section of the app contains information about factors that can affect fatigue in MS patients. The app uses videos and animations to reinforce information through a variety of methods while keeping users engaged.  The “interact” section allows users to record their fatigue and energy levels throughout the day.  Similar to the FitBit app, users can also record their sleep, activities throughout the day, as well as thoughts or emotions they have in relation to their fatigue. The goal of the interact section is to enable users to start recognizing patterns in their fatigue levels. This can help them identify aggravating and alleviating factors which they can then hopefully intervene on. This section is important because it is individualized. This means that patients are looking at their very own factors, and not what is common to a group of people with MS. It makes it easier for them to change behaviors based on their specific needs. These recordings are saved and can be accessed by the user at any time. In the “apply” section the user will bring together what he/she has learned from the previous two sections. In this section users can create diaries and set personal goals based on facts gathered from the “learn” section, and knowledge obtained about themselves from the “interact” section. Users can also set reminders to rest or engage in activities. The app is designed to be motivating and engaging so that users continue to participate.