Apps help with pain, hearing, supplies

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A flurry of apps released or updated this spring may help long-term care providers improve care.

The company ManagingLife, based out of Toronto, said it created the app Manage My Pain with the hope of improving physician-patient communication, but will be feeding data to York University for a psychology study.

“Most chronic pain studies involve hundreds of participants, but thanks to this app, we have several thousands of patients' data to work with, including hundreds of thousands of data points,” said Joel Katz, Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology at York University.

The analysis will be at York University's Human Pain Mechanisms Lab, where Katz is principal investigator.

For residents with hearing challenges, mobile applications company Bxtel LLC has released Enhanced Ears, an app that lets an Apple iPhone to function like a hearing aid.

The Enhanced Ears iPhone app is an affordable, discreet and effective alternative to hearing aids for those with mild to moderate hearing loss, the company said.

Enhanced Ears guides a user through a hearing test. Then, the app calibrates hearing aid functionality. Once calibrated, users tap the “on” switch and point the device's microphone in the direction of what they want to hear.

The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It is available for $39.99. There are free upgrades, and users can calibrate the app.

In May, Wellzilla launched a new mHealth app for caregivers who are purchasing medical supplies. The app allows them to view more than 40,000 discounted supplies and receive automated reorder reminders. 

The app was created as a tribute to a pharmacist father and nurse mother, said founder and CEO David Gelbard.

“They instilled in me the importance of caring for others,” he said. “With Wellzilla, I'm committed to improving the lives of today's caregivers, whether they're a nurse, social worker, physical therapist, a daughter or a son taking care of their parent.”