Migraine Monitor site award

Migrainemonitor.ie, the innovative website developed by Irishhealth.com has won the ‘Best Use of Information Technology’ in the The 2009 Irish Healthcare Awards. The initiative aims to support and help minimise the impact of migraine on sufferers, family, work and social life. It was developed with the support from the Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI). 

The system uses technology to allow patients better manage their migraines, by quickly and easily updating their personal online Migraine Monitor Diary direct from their mobile phone via SMS. This diary then assists them, and their healthcare professional, to identify trigger factors for their attacks and frequency, which helps to improve the management of migraines. Traditional methods of documenting attacks involve patients recording details in a paper diary before visiting their healthcare professional, which led to patients forgetting or misplacing their diaries, as well as issues around legibility and difficulties in analysing manually entered data. 

To use the service, people first log on for free registration with Migrainemonitor.ie and from that point whenever they experience a migraine attack they can directly update their records by texting the word ‘PAIN’ and the level of pain intensity (scale of 1-10) being experienced to the number 57500. A comment can also be added to this text message, such as timing of attack, related trigger etc (e.g. PAIN 5 – felt ill last night). Users can also log on to the website and add further information about that particular attack to assist in identifying any common patterns or causative triggers. The service also allows them to print off their personal record and bring it to their next healthcare professional visit. 

Several hundred people have already registered and regularly use the website, launched in March of this year, with around 5,200 ‘unique visitors’ having logged on, viewing in total over 16,500 pages. In addition to this existing patient service, there are plans to develop the service further to allow healthcare professionals log in and remotely review their patients’ records – representing a real step towards the gold standard of telemedicine. 

According to the MAI, around half a million people in Ireland live with migraine. The condition is estimated to cost Irish businesses €250 million every year as a result of loss in productivity, with the average sufferer being absent from work between 1.5 and 4.5 days annually.   

“The interactivity of the system encourages compliance and improves the lifestyle of those suffering from migraine in Ireland. We genuinely think the service makes a huge difference to the lives of migraine sufferers in Ireland and we encourage all migraine patients to avail of it,” said Maura Kinahan, Retail Operations Manager, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland. ”This award is recognition of the hard work of three organisations, Irishhealth.com, the Migraine Association of Ireland and the team at Pfizer Healthcare Ireland.” 

The runners up in the Best Use of IT category were St Vincent's University Hospital for their ‘Defero Text Messaging System’ which reminds patients about keeping their hospital appointments and the Department of Radiology at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital  for their low cost radiology IT project to facilitate cancer treatment decision making. 

The Irish Healthcare Awards are Ireland¹s premier awards in the area of health and medicine. They are run on an annual basis by Irish Medical Times. The awards recognise originality, excellence and innovation in healthcare in areas such as patient education, pharmaceutical innovation, healthcare collaboration and patient support. Entries come from individuals and institutions in acute and primary care, public health, the private sector and other sectors who have an interest in healthcare. 

For more, log on to Migrainemonitor.ie.

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