Local doctor develops application to promote personal healthcare

Published: Aug. 12, 2011 at 5:58 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2011 at 2:16 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Forget what medications you're taking? Don't remember all your symptoms? Sometimes a trip to the hospital can remind you just how much you don't know about your own healthcare. But a local doctor is trying to change all that.

Kwame Iwegbue is a doctor at Roper St. Francis Hospital downtown by day and an iPhone application designer by night. He says the two passions are very different but they have one thing in common. He uses both skills to help people.

"What we've built is a personal health organizer," says Iwegbue, scrolling through pages of information on his personal cell phone. "It's called iBiomed and initially stated out as a iphone app that I built for my wife in April of last year."

The app has spawned a website that was initially setup after Dr. Iwegbue watched his family struggle with doctor visits, medicine and care when their son was diagnosed with autism.

"The first couple of months... most people describe as denial," says his wife Florence. "But, I got over it and got into action when my son had [his first] seizure."

Iwegbue presented Florence with his organizer on Mother's Day to help with a growing amount of information about their son's condition.

And she says it's changed her families lives since.

"It was easier for me to communicate with my son's healthcare providers," says Florence. "I didn't always have to attend appointments. I didn't have to lug around a massive suitcase of files and folders."

The application is designed to manage medications, supplements and diets. Other features include a journal for daily reports on condition, setting medication and re-fill reminders.

Iwegbue says one of the greatest features is being able to communicate with your network of providers in real time to review test results, ask questions and voice concerns.

Now the computer website and application have combined to serve 14,000 people from people with seasonal colds to those with more critical needs like their son.

Doctor Temisen Etikerentse, who practices at Hope Clinic in North Charleston, says the features on the app are vital to make the best diagnosis in his office.

"I think this is something that is going to be very useful to a lot of people," says Dr. Etikerentse. "On the flipside, it's going to be very useful to the provider as well and I think the mixture of the two will provide better care and better outcomes. When you need it, it's going to be a lifesaver."

The free app is only currently available on the iphone and ipad but the couple says they're looking at other handheld's to branch out.  
They say the most comprehensive features are on their website, www.ibiomed.me
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