There are many mobile apps available to help people manage migraines. Many of them seem to have similar features and functions – how do you know what to trust?
We had the same question. That’s why we enlisted the help of Doctorpedia’s Chief Medical Content Officer Dr. Alexandra Kreps to help us review these apps from a clinician’s perspective. We also asked someone who regularly experiences migraines to review the apps from a patient’s perspective.
We asked Dr. Kreps and the patient to review the apps based on Doctorpedia’s comprehensive set of criteria, designed to fully encapsulate the quality of the app. These apps are rated on a scale of 1-10, where each aspect of the app has a separate rating. Categories that make up the total rating include Effectiveness, Functionality, Design, User-friendliness/Ease of use, and Credibility.
The Effectiveness category evaluates the effectiveness of the app; how well it does what it’s advertised to do.
The Functionality category evaluates the functions of the app; how many features it offers to the user.
The Design category evaluates the app’s design; how visually pleasing it is to the user.
The User-friendliness / Ease of use category evaluates how easy the app is to use; if it’s comprehensible or difficult to navigate.
The Credibility category evaluates the credibility of the app’s content; do its features have any scientific basis?
And finally, the Total Score category rates the app based on the combined rating of all the other categories.
In the chart below, you can see the scores for each of the apps arranged in order of their overall performance. Below the chart, we’ll give a more detailed overview of each of the apps, provide notes that Dr. Kreps and the patient left, and provide you with links to download them if you’re interested in using them.
1. Migraine Coach
Migraine Coach is an app created by top headache specialists that helps you keep track of your migraines. The app lets you log migraines daily along with medication taken. Many app developers pack their apps with too many features, thus making the interface cluttered and hard to use. Migraine Coach is an exception. It’s easy to track your symptoms and triggers due to the app’s simple, user-friendly design. The design is also light-sensitive, which means that it won’t trigger a headache.
Migraine Coach boasts of a number of features despite its simple design, which include:
- Quick sign-up process
- Ability to log a migraine in 1 click
- Ability to quickly track & edit symptoms, triggers, and medications
- Light-sensitive design with an intuitive user interface
- Consistent logging to improve accuracy
- Migraine risk prediction capabilities
- Ability to acquire insights through MIDAS + customized reports
- Ability to export reports as PDFs for physicians
- HealthKit Integration
Users can log and rate their migraines by severity, duration, and other factors. The resulting data can of course be shared with physicians and you can export it in PDF format.
Links To Download
With this free app, you can analyze what might be causing your headaches. You no longer have to rack your brain and guess what factors are involved in your migraines, because with N1-Headache, you can use the scientific method to get to the bottom of things.
N1-Headache allows you to track various external factors such as dietary, environmental, and emotional influences. The app analyzes the data you give it to try and get a better picture of what may be causing your migraines. On days where you haven’t had any migraines, you can the app know and N1-Headache will process the data to add it to a digital report.
This report builds a picture over time based on the data given. You can export it to a PDF file and share it with your healthcare practitioner to work together with them to find out the cause of your migraines. Headache specialists frequently use N1-Headache for such purposes, and the app has been used in clinical trials.
The app is free to use but a premium version is available for $49.99. The pro version includes more customization, and other useful features such as a medication analyzer tool and an option to directly link the app with your healthcare provider. Standard users might only need the basic version of the app.
Links To Download
3. Relax Lite
Relax Lite is a stress management tool that incorporates meditation and breathing exercises into a user-friendly interface. The app is very easy to use and is well-designed, adding to the relaxation aspect.
Relax Lite promises effective stress relief in 5 minutes. To accomplish this, it offers you various guided meditations at different levels. Beginners can start with a Level 1 breathing session and more experienced users can choose a Level 6 session or unlock the Advanced sessions for a small fee of $2.99. Users can customize the length of their meditations as well. If you only have 5 minutes to spare, that’s enough to slow your breathing and clear your mind.
According to the Relax Lite App Store description, benefits of deep breathing in the app include:
- An almost immediate relaxing effect.
- Improved focus and reduced anxiety.
- Lowered blood pressure and heart rate.
- Improved stamina and fitness by optimizing the usage of your lung capacity.
- Works as a sleep aid for people affected with insomnia.
- Helping to reduce pain.
- Helping to manage headaches and migraines.
Other features of the app include allowing you to keep a log of your progress over time, customizable themes and music, and the option to use the app in French, Chinese or English.
Links To Download
iHeadache is a headache tracking app developed by neurologist and headache specialist Brian D. Loftus that makes it easy to log your headaches. The app targets those who have trouble remembering details of their recent migraines at their doctor’s visits. Most people don’t write down all this info, so iHeadache simplifies the process by allowing you to log everything within the app.
Users can track their medications that they’re on, factors that trigger their headaches, and severity of the headaches. Based on the data given to the app, iHeadache will accurately predict the severity and type of headache you’re currently having as well as the next one. The app does this using criteria obtained from the International Headache Society.
After logging your headaches for some time, you’ll be able to generate a progress report. The report can be exported to a CSV file so you can share it with your doctor. This report includes specific details such as the types of headaches you have, number of headaches during a period of time, medications taken, and headache triggers. Based on this info, you and your doctor can build a specialized treatment plan.
Link To Download
5. Migraine Buddy
Migraine Buddy is an incredibly popular solution for those who want to get to the root cause of their migraines. The app has surpassed 2 million downloads on Apple’s App Store, and it has over 18,000 reviews. Healthline named it the “Best Migraine App of 2019.”
Migraine Buddy allows you to track and record your migraines with ease. The recording process is done with the help of the app itself, so you barely have to do any work. The app will identifies symptoms and triggers of a migraine attack with the information entered by the user. Migraine Buddy will help you find the cause of your migraines simply based on the data, which includes medications taken, pain intensity, lifestyle factors, and everything else that might trigger migraines. This feature was developed and perfected by neurologists and data scientists.
Besides the migraine tracking function, the app also comes with an intelligent sleep recording system, allowing you to view the correlation between your sleep quality and your migraines. Additionally, Migraine Buddy has a weather and pressure forecast feature, which lets you measure the impact of the weather on your headaches. Finally, for those with chronic, severe migraines, the Migraine Impact Buddy feature will help you measure the exact impact of your migraines on your daily life. If you happen to have friends or family with migraines, you can share details with your “buddies” within the app.
Links To Download
Symple Symptom Tracker is a mobile app that helps you track your feelings, improve wellbeing, and manage your symptoms.
Take control of your health by answering daily questions from Symple and recording the intensity of your symptoms. To keep up with your meals and medications, you can take a daily photo as a reminder. You’re also able to import step, sleep, diet, and heart rate data directly from Apple Health. For those in wheelchairs, you can even track your wheelchair pushes.
Symple asks you a series of helpful questions to help you gain a better insight on your emotional and physical symptoms. You can rate the intensity of your symptoms as they appear. The app encourages you to share your data with your doctor, in order for them to assist your overall progress. You can even make a list of questions for your medical practitioners to prepare for your upcoming appointment.
If you’re interested in more, you can upgrade to SympleComplete for $8.99 and get an entire suite of features such as unlimited symptom tracking, longer graphing intervals, an option to secure your data with a password, and the ability to take 10 reminder photos per day.
Link To Download
Ouchie is an app that lets you manage your pain through data, tracking, and community involvement. The app’s tagline is #donthurtalone, meaning that one shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. Instead, Ouchie lets you join a social media community to connect with others and share your thoughts about the pain that you’re dealing with. Ouchie is targeted at those who suffer from “lower back pain, neck pain, knee pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, CRPS, Crohn’s Disease, endometriosis, arthritis, lupus, nerve pain related to sciatica, and more.”
The app includes a tracking feature which lets you track your pain over a period of time and view a chart of how your pain has fluctuated. You can edit different aspects of your pain chart, including the amount of medication you’re on, new treatments that you’ve tried, sleep patterns, and more. But the main selling point of Ouchie is its community, allowing you to share your story with others and find people to connect with. No one likes dealing with pain and not having anyone to talk to about it, so with Ouchie you can finally join groups of people who are going through similar experiences.
Ouchie also provides useful resources for you to learn about new developments in the world of medicine and technology, articles written by top pain management researchers, exercise regimens, and external support groups.
Links To Download
Alexandra Kreps, MD
Chief Medical Content Officer
Dr. Kreps is a board certified physician and native New Yorker who loves yoga, traveling and cooking. She received a BS in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology from Emory University and graduated cum laude from St. George’s University School of Medicine. She completed her residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Internal Medicine. She currently works as a primary care physician and is an affiliate of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. She has a deep passion for internal medicine and delivering the best, most comprehensive care possible.