Do you ever wonder what we did before iPads and smartphones? We’ve come to rely on our electronic gadgets so much that it’s difficult to remember life without them! These days, there’s an app for just about everything, and that includes helping caregivers stay organized.
To assist you in finding the app that’s right for you, we’re taking a look at several that are currently available. Last week, I gave CareZone a test drive, and this week, I’m exploring MobiCare. The beta version of MobiCare was released in mid-2012, is available free at the iTunes app store, and requires only an email address to register. User accounts are also accessible via the web, but functionality is limited at this time.
- Care Profile – Stores name, birth date, and gender of your loved one as well health insurance information and the contact information for one physician. This component would have more value if it tracked, for example, social security number, drug allergies, medical conditions, and blood type.
- Symptom Tracker – Currently available only on the mobile app, but the company states it will be accessible via the web soon. The tracking is rather rudimentary, providing the user with a list of 15 behavioral and cognitive symptoms from which to choose. The symptoms, which include things like anxiety, sundowning, insomnia, wandering, confusion, and language difficulties are presented with check boxes used to indicate which are applicable. Free form text can be entered in a single Notes field at the bottom of the page.
This is sufficient for quick notations, but really isn’t practical for tracking supporting detail that a physician might need. One suggested enhancement would be to include a notes field next to each “symptom” that is selected. The ability to enter information from a laptop would also increase usability.
- Medication Tracker – Also available only on the mobile app at this time. For ease of use, the ability to enter information from a laptop would be desirable; perhaps an enhancement in the not too distant future. The mobile med tracker is fairly basic, but it gets the job done by storing the name of the medication and dosage. It also permits selection of a time and frequency, but there is no way to track multiple dosing time within a day. The med tracker does not store RX numbers, prescribing physician, or other pertinent information.
- To Do List – Tracks tasks and allows assignment to other caregivers/family members/friends who have been invited to assist. Tasks can be viewed using both the app and the website, but it does not appear as if they can be edited once saved, and there is no way to mark them “complete.”
- Family Log – I stumbled on this feature, but its existence is not readily apparent. It allows users to enter freeform text notes, but they are stored with plus signs between each word, which is less than optimal for ease of reading.
- No calendar
- No contact list
- Lack of control over what other caregivers/helpers have access to view/edit
- Very limited website functionality
- No reference to support on the website
- Existing bugs
To summarize, as a tool, MobiCare generally provides the basics; however, there is significant room for improvement. In fairness, the app is still in beta. The company does seem open to suggestions, and only time will tell how much intent there is to actually incorporate enhancements. With additional development and some work on bugs, the opportunity to increase appeal and value to caregivers is definitely within reach.
What tools have you found particularly useful as a caregiver? Leave a comment and share your experience.