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October 27, 2009
Review of Mood Tracking Software: MoodTracker.com
Our findings are drawn from conversations with the MoodTracker.com CEO (David Hale), current users of MoodTraker.com, and our independent review of MoodTracker.com. We plan to monitor this software, stay in touch with active users and provide subsequent updates. We use pseudonyms to ensure MoodTracker users' privacy.
What is MoodTracker.com?
MoodTracker.com is a web-based Mood Tracking system which helps people who suffer from bipolar depression or depression track relevant information & data associated with their illness. This information includes: establishing a daily mood chart; charting a patient's "Mood History;" establishing a patient's Medical History; building in Support Alerts which offer users email, text messages etc. to take medicine or some other action step; and recording caregiver information.
MoodTracker.com provides a web-based tool that is easy to use, requires little time for patients to set up, and is easily accessible for patients, family members or Doctors (if patients allow such access to their online accounts). MoodTracker.com also provides an online Forum area for patients to discuss questions about how to use MoodTracker.com;
What do users say about it?
We spoke with Jennifer, a MoodTracker.com user, about her experience with the online tracking system. Jennifer researched various mood tracking systems and choose MoodTracker.com. She considered it essential that the system be web-based; she liked the flexibility of having her account & data on a server which could be accessed from any online source. She views this system has a good way to share relevant information with her Doctor who could easily access her information in advance of their sessions and be "current" on various data points. She also feels the various pie charts and graphs offered a user friendly, helpful way to visualize her moods and relevant data. She also likes the ability to send alerts to herself for various action points including taking medicine. Lastly, she found the Forum section to be user friendly, helpful and relevant to her ongoing issues.
Software tool versus web-based system.
Readers may recall that the Founder/CEO of the bStable product (see Sept. 15 post), researched the software versus web-based issue and came down strongly in favor of building a software tool. David Hale came to the opposite conclusion and decided to build a web-based application. One of the key issues patients that can arise with a web-based system is the security of the data. David points out that MoodTracker.com does not require any personal ID information to create an account; of course, patients are free to use any name/password combination as well as any email address so their use of MoodTracker.com is quite secure.
What does MoodTracker.com cost?
There are two MoodTracker.com versions. The basic version, MoodTracker, is free. An enhanced version, MoodTracker Plus, costs $24.95 annually and includes:
Pie Charts: With Pie Charts you get a summary of your moods by percentage. This can be very helpful for evaluating your moods over time and getting a better feel for the effectiveness of your medications. You can see your pie charts summarized by month, quarter, or year. Each pie chart is also sub-categorized by medication history, and there are different pie charts for mood, sleep, anxiety, and irritability.
Exercise Tracking: You can easily set up any number of exercise records to create a customized exercise plan. Each record specifies the exercise, the date when you started it, and how frequently it's done.
Significant Event Tracking: If a significant event occurs that greatly affects your mood, you can mark it on your chart.
No Advertisements: When you login to your MoodTracker Plus+ account, you won't see any ads. Basic MoodTracker users will see Google Ads on MoodTracker.com
MoodTracker is a good web-based mood tracking tool. It is easy to use and enables users to track relevant data points on a daily basis. MoodTracker Plus offers some nice additional charting, avoids advertising and is inexpensive. All in all we think this is a good system for those who prefer a web-based system versus a software based solution. It's one of a few independent sites (i.e. not affiliated with a pharmaceutical firm) that caters specifically to patients with bipolar disorder. We will continue to monitor MoodTracker.com's progress.
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