Start small - Start with just a few symptoms & factors so you don't get overwhelmed. If working with a clinician, stay focused on what matters most right now.
Be consistent - Begin with one reminder and record only once per day. Remember, time of day can be a factor so try to record at the same time each day.
Be smart - Symple did not go to medical school. An app can not replace the wisdom and compassion of a trained clinician. Furthermore, symptoms are one piece of a complex picture, so make sure to check in with your healthcare professional before making serious choices.
ABOUT SYMPTOMS & FACTORS
Symptoms - are what you feel. They are your body's way of saying that something is amiss. If a symptom can be seen or measured, it's actually called a sign. Only you can perceive, measure and report a symptom.
Factors - are things you do that affect how you feel, such as yoga, prednisone & gluten-free day. Factors are binary, meaning present or absent.
Treat symptoms and factors as two completely different sets of data. We bring them together in graphs.
CUSTOM SYMPTOMS & FACTORS
To create a custom symptom or factor:
- Go to Settings/Symptoms or Settings/Factors and touch "New"
- Begin typing the name into the "Search or create new" bar at the top of the screen
- If nothing close comes up, touch the word you typed
- Your custom symptom or factor is now active
To edit a symptom name:
- Go to Settings/Symptoms and touch "Edit"
- Not yet available for Factors
Graphs transform our daily observations into knowledge. To use graphs:
- Rotate to landscape*
- Swipe between symptoms to compare two symptoms at a time
- Add a factor to highlight days that factor was recorded
- Observe relationships between symptoms and factors
- Data recorded more than 48 hours later are shown in grey
* Make sure to disable rotation lock if you are using an iPad.
USING THE CALENDAR
Navigate quickly between months and years using our handy calendar feature.
Toggle between symptoms, factors, journal and photos to see which dates have what type of data associated with them. This is a great way to look back a year or more to see when things were brewing.
Time periods are set up like this:
NONE vs. NOTHING
When you record "None" for Headache, you create a data point for your headache history. This data point helps render a more accurate picture of your headache history: when a headache is present and when a headache is absent.
If you make no record at all, no data point is added to your headache history. Maybe you had a headache or maybe you did not. Symple can't guess. Where this becomes really important is in averaging: if you discard all instances of "no headache" by not recording "none," you will be over-valuing headache's severity.
About the 5 point scale
We benchmark everything we do against one golden metric: simplicity. Finding a pain scale that met that requirement was a challenge.
Standard 10 point scales are designed to be used infrequently, like filling out a questionnaire in your doctor's office. But we needed something you could use daily. So we tested and discovered that a 5 point scale yielded the highest retention rates while still offering end users the granularity they wanted. Of course, many doctors and researchers rely on a 10 point scale, so we hope to accommodate that convention. But we will do so in a way that enriches our customers' experience (YOU), not diminish it.
TAKING A BREAK
If you have too many skipped days, congratulations! You're feeling better, and it's time to take a break from using Symple.
- turn off reminders
- pause all symptoms and factors
- build and email yourself a backup/restore file and keep the file in a safe place.
Do not delete Symple or any symptoms/factors, or you will lose all of your data.
ABOUT DOCTOR REPORTS
Use the Doctor Report as a talking paper or overview*. It can help you conduct a disciplined, effective conversation with your doctor. Print and bring it to your next visit.
And unless instructed otherwise, do not email:
- Email is not HIPAA compliant, and you may put yourself and your clinician at risk of breaching this security requirement.
- Your clinician may never see it because many medical systems block external email.
- Your clinician can't add it to your medical record until you give your consent.
We want to make it easier for you to get the right care, right away. Let us help you navigate the clinical environment.
* in the unlikely event that your doctor wants individual data points, download them using .CSV Export Feature in Settings .
ACTIVE vs. INACTIVE SYMPTOMS
Active symptoms are those that you are actively tracking, right now. Inactive symptoms are those that you have tracked in the past but aren't tracking right now. Seasonal allergies are a good example of symptoms that come and go over the years.
So, why not just delete symptoms?
Deleting a symptom removes that symptom's data, from the app forever. Only delete a symptom if you are absolutely certain that you will never need that data again, e.g. you have entered the same symptom twice during set up. Same for factors.
There are 2 ways to track medications, depending on what you need to do.
To remember what medications you took and when, snap a quick photo of your medications before you take them. The image will be time-stamped in Symple, so you can check back to see what you took and when.
To study how medications affect your symptoms, set up a factor for that medication. If you take different dosages, create a different factor for each dosage. Use graphs to see how a medication affects your symptoms.
SIGNING INTO ITUNES, AGAIN
Upon updating to the latest version of Symple, you may encounter a window asking your to sign into your iTunes account. This is to ensure that end users who purchased the premium version of Symple, called Symple Complete, receive the premium update. The only way to verify your purchase history is by signing in (apparently). This is a script that is imposed by the App Store, not by us, and we apologize for the inconvenience.