Treating chronic Lyme disease is not a simple process. Patients have a demanding path ahead of them, with repeated doctor’s visits, tests and antibiotic rounds all contributing to the overall treatment plan. Acute Lyme can be treated with a round or two of regular antibiotics, but the disease needs to be caught in the early stages. Unfortunately for many patients, as its symptoms can mimic those of the flu, it’s easily missed. The flu symptoms gradually subside over a few weeks, making way for the onset of chronic symptoms, which may take months or years to manifest themselves. Even at this point, a correct diagnosis is difficult; chronic Lyme disease is sometimes called ‘the great imitator’, as it mimics the symptoms of many other disorders. But while diagnosis is tough, treatment is undoubtedly tougher. Anything that makes it easier, like the SymCollect app, is a welcome addition for patients and doctors alike.
The first step in tackling chronic Lyme is finding a good doctor. The disease is a controversial subject for most medical professionals, as it is not officially legitimised as a ‘real’ disease. Most doctors are severely under-educated when it comes to Lyme disease, so you should seek out a specialist immediately. BCA-clinic are undoubtedly specialists in the field of Lyme. They understand the components of the disease and split their treatment between the infection symptoms and the inflammation symptoms, both of which constitute equally important parts of the condition. They also understand the role of co-infections and why it’s crucial to attend to them in conjunction with Lyme. The antibiotics taken at this point can be a delicate, potent mix, so BCA-clinic also offers nutritionist guidance to make sure patients’ bodies are receiving the necessary nourishment during the course of their treatment.
All these aspects of chronic Lyme treatment will take many months to unfold properly. This is where SymCollect comes in. The developers behind this app have designed an innovative concept that aims to connect doctors with their patients, with the app acting as a middleman. This method is part of a new wave of healthcare known as telemedicine. Broadly, telemedicine concerns the use of digital devices to expedite healthcare, using the modern ‘on-demand’ service model as a template. We’re all connected all the time anyway, and so many of the services we use are already on-demand, like communication and television. It makes sense that the healthcare industry is the next big arena for instantaneous connection.
SymCollect has a lot of benefits for both patients and doctors and proves particularly useful for people suffering from chronic diseases like Lyme. So how exactly does it work? Essentially, patients enter their collection of symptoms on the app, which can function on a smartphone or tablet. This takes the form of a simple questionnaire, the results of which are then sent to their doctor for appraisal, arriving in the form of a ‘traffic light’ system. This makes it easy for medical staff to assess the symptoms and allows them to rapidly construct an informed view of the patient’s treatment progress. For chronic diseases, this is particularly valuable, as many consultations will be necessary over the course of the treatment. This instant communication also allows doctors to get an instant snapshot of the patient’s current condition and enables them to immediately flag any abnormal behaviour or signs they notice.
Patients benefit from a system like SymCollect in many ways. First off, having a direct line to their doctor is incredibly reassuring for most patients, especially if they are unwell a lot of the time, as those fighting chronic diseases often are. The feeling of being in constant communication with a healthcare professional is sure to ease much of the stress and tension that patients undoubtedly feel. This is especially true when it comes to Lyme disease, as new and concerning symptoms can crop up all the time over the course of the disorder. There is also a reduced chance of patients exaggerating a minor issue or ignoring a potentially serious one. Patients will also reduce time spent on unnecessary personal consultations, as well as saving hours by consulting their doctors from the comfort of their own home.
For doctors, constant access to the SymCollect database provides them with unprecedented access to their patients’ conditions, at any place or time. The system also makes it easy for them to quickly assess each patient’s case, saving them precious time in the long run, without compromising on focus or efficiency. It helps them cut back on physical patient consultations, allowing them to focus on the patients who genuinely need face-to-face appointments.
All in all, SymCollect has no downsides. The treatment of chronic diseases is a long, hard road for patients and doctors alike; anything that makes that road easier to travel is very welcome indeed.