Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ipod Touch App Review: Asthma Journal Free

I have never hidden the fact I have asthma in real life, although I doubt I have mentioned it in this blog. Being a geek and a chart nerd, I regularly take my peak flow and chart the results, watching my results daily, weekly, and monthly to see how I'm doing with my lungs.

So while I was perusing the iTunes Application Store, I thought I'd see if there was anything I could use to chart my numbers, rather than use paper and pencil. You know, if I can save a branch, why not?

I ran across Asthma Journal Free, and thought it was worth a try. Asthma Journal free is published by Ringful LCC, which appears to have several medical professionals affiliated with it based on its web site.


  • It's free.
  • It not only allows you to track your peak flows, but also medication use, symptoms, sleep patterns, and activity levels.
  • You can, if desired, connect the results to Google Health and Facebook.
  • You can discover the latest news on asthma.

  • You have to create a new journal for each day, so consequently you have to jump through quite a few screens: set up your journal, then go to a new screen to check of symptoms, meds, sleep patterns, then jump to a new screen if you want to enter your peak flows (granted, it's just a number pad, but the developers could have made it so you just entered the data on the same screen using the regular text entry methods).
  • Charting options (which I really love) are only available in the paid version of this app. I wish at least basic charting of the peak flows would be available in the free version.
  • I'm not sure that knowing the latest news is really that helpful, as I doubt many doctors want their patients to change their medications or treatment plans on their own. I would rather have such news filtered through my doctor, who is far better able with his training to determine the value of the research or paper in question.
  • While being able to send the information to Google Health or Facebook is fine, I'd really like to have the ability to download the data to my Mac and be able to see the data in table format. I appreciate the value of electronic records, but I have serious reservations about keeping my data private given the problems already demonstrated with Social Security Numbers, financial data, and more being leaked to the Internet. Intentionally putting it on the Internet in Facebook (which is all about sharing information) or Google (which is the biggest search engine that intentionally searches out information) seems ridiculuous. Right now, I have no way to really see this data on my computer--only on the Touch.
I've only used this app for two days, and while I will continue to use it, it isn't perfect. Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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