Published On: Tue, Dec 5th, 2023

Apps That Can Help You Manage Your Condition

If you’re looking for a multiple sclerosis (MS) app, there are a lot of choices. On Google Play and on Apple’s App Store, a search for “MS apps” could yield more than 1,000 results. After you filter out all the ones that aren’t in English or aren’t designed just for MS, you’ll still have around 100 to sort through. How can you know which is best for you?

First, decide what info you want most. MS diagnosis and treatment, MS tests, or MS self-management, perhaps?  Research shows that mobile apps for MS can empower you, help you stick to your treatment plan, and sometimes give your doctor insight that can improve your care.

Before you click a download button, think about how you want to use the app: casually or as a tool to guide treatment discussions? If the latter is your goal, first find out if your doctor has any suggestions. Some could be more useful than others.

MS apps are usually developed with a lot of patient input, so the features should appeal to you. But the information may not be that useful if you want to share it with your doctor.

“What patients think is valuable to doctors is often different than what’s actually valuable to doctors,” says James Bowen, MD, medical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle.

When an app asks patients every day, “How do you feel?” that doesn’t give us actionable information, he says. “What doctors really need are outcomes that are validated for various symptoms, such as fatigue.”

Bowen was central to the selection and validation of measurement scales, including a fatigue scale, for My MS Manager, an app created by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA).

Some apps, including the one from MSAA, can generate reports on various metrics and send them to your doctor. This could be an easy way to share updates more often, but you’ll need to make sure your doctor’s office is both able to — and wants to — receive such reports.

MS apps can offer a wealth of information and helpful tools for disease management, but you might want an app focused on some other aspect of life with MS.

“Our experience isn’t that there is one app that works for all, but instead there are categories of needs that people with MS share,” says Deborah Backus, PhD, director of multiple sclerosis research at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, one of the nation’s leading rehabilitation centers. “People with MS have told us they [want] apps to help them remember things. They use apps as memory aids.”

You may want a symptom tracker, especially if you have cognitive issues that get in the way of remembering details or events your doctor should know. Or you may want an app that helps you remember appointments or when to take your medicine.

Some apps can also connect you with — or even join — studies on multiple sclerosis. The information you enter into your smartphone goes to researchers studying different aspects of the disease.

A few MS apps have features that align with what your doctor wants you to track. “One app that our clinicians like is the BEST Suite,” Backus says. It’s a suite of five apps with activities and education. An arm of the Shepherd Center funded part of its development. “Some features, like PaceMyDay, have been particularly useful for managing energy and fatigue.”

Doctors don’t rely on MS apps, at least not yet, to capture and understand your health information. So you shouldn’t be frustrated if your doctor doesn’t have an opinion about them or doesn’t have any app suggestions.

MS apps like these are mostly for your benefit, to give you a better picture of your health or help you live better with MS, by itself or with other conditions:


My MS Manager
Free, available for Apple and Android
Features: Track symptoms, create reports for health care team, get medication reminders, read MS-related news, find your nearest emergency room 
Pros: Manage multiple aspects of the disease, piloted in a clinical setting, HIPAA-compliant 
Why you can trust it: Created by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (in partnership with @Point of Care); scientifically validated metrics 


Floodlight MS
Free, available for Apple and Android
Features: Simple tasks test your hand function, walking ability, and mental processing. The app shares that information with your doctor. Tracks how your abilities change over time. A journal can help you communicate better with your providers. 
Pros: An easy way to share details with your doctor. A game-like method to keep tabs on your symptoms. 
Why you can trust it: From biotech company Roche, developed with input from leading MS experts.


BEST Suite

$10, available for Apple
Features: Includes the PaceMyDay app to plan your day and manage energy;  ReachMyGoals to help you set, monitor, and accomplish goals; StrategizeMyLife to document and track effective strategies; CompleteMyToDos to interactively create and tick off a to-do list.
Pros: Shares data across all apps in the suite and takes input from people living with cognitive challenges related to disease or injury. 
Why you can trust it: Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research; developed in part with Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, a nonprofit hospital specializing in MS as well as spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, and other neuromuscular conditions.


Medisafe Medication Management (the name on the Apple app store) / Medisafe Pill & Med Reminder (the Google Play name)
Free (premium version available with subscription), available for Apple and Android
Features: Pill reminder/alarm, automatic time zone detection, drug interaction checker, refill reminders, 20+ trackable health measurements apply to multiple conditions. Medisafe Inc. is a digital health tech company.
Pros: Helps keep you on track with medication for multiple conditions, which in turn boosts your overall health; can reduce your risk of drug-to-drug interactions.
Why you can trust it: Follows strict privacy laws (HIPAA and GDPR compliant).


Care Clinic
Free ($9.99/month or $59.99/year for advanced features), available for Apple and Android.
Features: Health tracker/reminder app includes symptom tracker, medication tracker, caregiver reminders and alerts, food and drink database, store vaccination records; works with Apple Health and Google Fit.
Pros: Manage chronic, acute, preventive medical care for all your health concerns; up to six family members can share app; one person can track care plan for family.
Why you can trust it: Developed in consultation with medical advisors, supported by several medical groups. 


Free, available for Apple and Android
Features: A social network for people with MS and their caregivers. Join groups based around similar interests, chat with experts, share your experiences, keep track of appointments, organize health records, and find clinical trials.
Pros: Find emotional support and get organized in one app.
Why you can trust it: Features doctors and other experts answering questions; complies with HIPAA and GDPR privacy standards.

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