Charting a course forward against Multiple Sclerosis with Windows Phone and Azure

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that affects us all and with Windows Phone and Azure, a team from Ireland is making it easier for patients and doctors to combat this illness with technology available today.

The problem that team was trying to combat was that in Ireland, and around the world, when you are diagnosed with MS, you are given a notepad to document your medication, pains, and all the other relevant information that doctors need to help treat you. With all of the technology around us, a pad of paper is an old fashioned technique that needed to be updated.

Step in team docTek and their solution to bridge Windows Phone with Azure to create a solution that pairs patient input with physician metrics. The application is quite simple and allows the patient to input their medication, pain, mood and other relevant information that is then linked to their doctor. Once a link is established with two-way authentification, the information is then tracked over time and allows for trending and other analytics to help fight Multiple Sclerosis at its core. 

This bridging of information will allow for a more complete documentation of the disease and overall, better treatment to be administered. The company has a business model in place and has already linked an exclusive agreement with the MS society in Ireland to help make sure this application is distributed and help all of those in need. The team is targeting expansion beyond Ireland but are currently working through with beta testers before a wider distribution on platforms outside of Windows Phone. 

Imagine Cup is all about fostering innovation with products we have today and team docTek is leading that charge against Multiple Sclerosis. 

Interested in Imagine Cup? Want to learn more or even register your team for the 2013 challenges? Head on over to Imagine Cup's website to stay updated on all the events for the 2013 competition. 

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The whole idea Might in part be used to further bad medicine.

The problem is that there are lots of illnesses, diseases or whatever you want to call them, where they haven't yet figured out bio markers, meaning there's not a simple test they can run in the lab to say Yup, that's what you've got. With MS they've at least documented scientifically what's going on, so the medical community believes it exists -- unfortunately with many illnesses that's not the case, so you wind up like me, having docs say "don't know what's wrong with you but frankly, I don't get paid enough to find out". Or once I was diagnosed [thanks to the CDC], there was the doc who told me that illness didn't exist, then when I went to leave, forced me to go to the nearest ER -- it was really bizarre, as he had 2 EMS trucks & 1 fire truck literally blocking our car on the road, like the bad guys in a movie, so we couldn't turn somewhere else & escape! Then, after a day wasted in the ER, they said Sorry, don't know what's wrong with you, but you owe us thousands of dollars!

At any rate, bad docs tend to look for a scapegoat diagnosis, one that means they've covered their butt, but don't actually have to bother practicing medicine, don't have to run whatever tests & try to figure out what's really wrong. One way they often try to find that scapegoat Dx is by collecting every sort of trivia about your life, then cherry pick whatever data so they can say you're out of shape, you're too fat, you're eating unhealthy, it's all in your mind, it's depression, you're trying to commit fraud claiming disability & so on... the main criteria is the Dx has to be something they don't treat.

So now you've got whatever team docTek, whom I'm sure tried to come up with something some docs said they want/need. One challenge is that bad docs' behavior & habits are Very well known thanks to the Internet, so patients will either likely practice heavy censorship of the data they enter, &/or be a reluctant to use the devices at all. And of course some docs are bound to use this sort of thing exactly as feared.

They have a procedure that cures MS now; a coworker of mine had it done a couple years ago. She had to go to Russia to get it done though, since it's not legal in the US yet...