Thursday, 4 February 2016

MCHRI developing smartphone app for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

In a bid to help bring quality healthcare into the 21st century, researchers at SPHPM’s Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI) are working towards developing an evidence-based smartphone app for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Mobile technology continues to play an increasing role in our lives with latest data indicating that 94 per cent of Australians aged 18-35 access the internet using a smartphone or download an application (app). The use of Mobile Health, defined as medical and public health practices supported by mobile devices, is increasing and tens of thousands of health related apps are available worldwide. The problem is that many of these are developed without expert input and are of variable quality.

PCOS affects 12-21 per cent of Australian women of reproductive age and is more common amongst women who are overweight or of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. Originally considered a reproductive condition because it is one of the leading causes of infertility, we now know that PCOS affects women throughout their lives and can have many negative health consequences, such as type 2 diabetes and other risk factors for heart disease, symptoms of anxiety or depression and reduced quality of life.

Lifestyle management, such as weight loss, weight maintenance and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan are considered to be the first line of treatment, with weight reductions of only 5-10 per cent in overweight women being shown to confer considerable benefits. Interdisciplinary care, involving multiple health professionals, and regular health checks for cardiovascular risk factors and emotional well-being are also recommended.

It is hoped that the smartphone app will support and empower women to manage PCOS more effectively, leading to improved health outcomes. It is also hoped that this app may form the first part of a series of healthcare apps for a variety of women’s health conditions, thus helping women all over the world to live the healthiest and most fulfilling life they can.

In order to create the best possible app for women with PCOS, MCHRI is conducting a survey to get feedback and insight from women with PCOS. If you are over the age of 18, live in Australia and have a confirmed diagnosis of PCOS we invite you to be a part of this exciting and pioneering scientific research. 

Copy and paste the link below into your browser and complete the online survey: