New App Helps to Deal with ME; Health Reporter HELEN RAE Explains How a New Mobile Phone Application Will Help People in the Region Manage a Chronic Condition That Causes Exhaustion

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England), February 20, 2012 | Go to article overview

New App Helps to Deal with ME; Health Reporter HELEN RAE Explains How a New Mobile Phone Application Will Help People in the Region Manage a Chronic Condition That Causes Exhaustion


Byline: HELEN RAE

A NEW iPhone application is being launched to help patients who suffer from a chronic condition manage their illness better.Developed by experts in the field of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME (CFS/ME), and tested by people with the condition, this new ActiveME[umlaut] app is designed to assist patients in keeping track of their activity levels ... a key part of rehabilitation and self-managing this chronic condition.

The illness affects approximately four in every 1,000 people in the UK. It is common in children, affecting at least one per cent of teenagers, and is arguably the most common cause of long-term absence from school.

The NHS Northern CFS/ME Clinical Network, the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust and Indigo Mulitimedia have teamed up to utilise modern technology as a tool to help these patients, who often find themselves in "boom and bust" energy cycles.

Dr Esther Crawley, consultant paediatrician and service lead for the children and young people's CFS/ME service at the RNHRD, said: "Patients with CFS/ME suffer from chronic exhaustion that is not helped by sleep or rest.

"This affects all aspects of their lives, and on a bad day, even tasks that you or I might take for granted - such as brushing our hair or watching TV - can be extremely difficult.

"The flip side of this is that on a good day a person will do too much and then pay for it for the next few days. We call this 'boom and bust' energy cycles. Energy is anything that stimulates the brain or body.

"The evidence-based treatment that we use involves patients monitoring their energy usage on day-to-day activities so that we can see when these cycles occur, prevent them from happening in the future, and help the patient to maintain balance and improve their condition. …

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