MigrnX app on phone

Your Health, News | 4 years ago

Have a Migraine? There's an App for That

More than 37 million Americans suffer from migraines, with roughly 2 to 3 million being chronic migraine sufferers. Russ Bodner, MD, discusses the advantages of asking your neurologist about the MigrnX™ app to track your symptoms for the most effective treatment.  

Are you one of the millions of people who suffer through recurring migraines? Russ Bodner, MD, an Atrium Health (formerly Carolinas HealthCare System) neurologist discusses how patients can manage their migraines using the MigrnX app to better understand their frequency patterns, the triggers behind their symptoms, medication effectiveness and the severity of their migraines.  

A headache isn’t always a migraine

So, what is a migraine? “A migraine is a type of headache that is disabling in some fashion – it inhibits someone’s level of functioning,” says Dr. Bodner. The most common symptoms include one-sided throbbing pain, light and sound sensitivity, and nausea. In certain cases, an estimated 15 percent of migraine sufferers experience a migraine with an aura. People who experience this type of migraine associate the aura with visual disturbances, such as seeing sparkles or experiencing tunnel vision. 

To combat these symptoms, consult your doctor about medication options. Medications used to treat migraines fall into two broad categories: pain-relieving medications (also known as acute or abortive treatment) and preventative medications. “Typically, patients would want to use an abortive agent – a medicine they would take when the migraine is coming on,” says Dr. Bodner. “If people are having lots [of migraines], we look at preventatives.”

Introducing MigrnX

The good news for migraine sufferers? The MigrnX app is here to help! MigrnX, released by SensorRX in 2017, is the first automated migraine management tool that directly impacts patients’ care. Over 500 patients at Atrium Health are already using the app as an electronic version of a migraine diary, which provides clinicians with the data necessary for better treatment. 

“Atrium Health and SensorRX share the largest clinically integrated electronic data base (clinical integration is key to treatment), which is increasing by thousands of headache reports each month,” says George McLendon, PhD, founder of SensorRX and vice president of therapeutic research and development at Atrium Health.

In just a few clicks, patients are able to electronically record when they are having a migraine, the symptoms they are experiencing and the severity. They are then prompted to check off the medication they are using and how it responded to their migraine. The app additionally allows patients to record other possible triggers, like whether they are menstruating, are getting enough sleep or have eaten something outside their usual diet. Even further, the app records environmental triggers that may have an effect on migraine patterns. “The app is automatically recording the barometric pressure, the weather, the light in the room and sound to detect environmental triggers,” says Dr. Bodner.

But that’s not all. Every three months the app automatically prompts users to participate in a routine migraine disability assessment (MIDAS) test to determine the extent to which migraines are affecting a patient’s everyday life, such as asking whether or not they have missed work/school days or are lacking in productivity. The history of past assessments are stored within the app and users are given the option to share their results with their physician by either printing a PDF report or sending their records via email to inform providers of their unique conditions.

How do I get the app?

“Right now, all of Atrium Health neurology people can give it [the app] to patients they feel are appropriate,” says Dr. Bodner. Patients can download MigrnX for free on the App Store or on Google Play, but they will need to consult their physician for an access code in order to log their information. From there, patients can record their migraine information in just four clicks. MigrnX then stores all recorded information, allowing users to view their headache archive on a calendar to help them better identify headache frequency and associated patterns. 

“An ongoing collaboration between SensorRX engineers and Atrium Health has created an integration where patients may share data with their provider directly into the electronic medical records (EMR) ensuring the best diagnosis and care,” says Dr. McLendon.

Listen to Dr. McLendon discuss more information about MigrnX™ in the podcast below: 
Creating a New Healthcare - Reframing chronic disease management - with George McLendon PhD, Founder of SensorRX; and VP for Therapeutics Research & Development at Atrium Health