Ostobuddy (2015): REVIEW (w/ video)

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It’s been less than a year since my first review of the OstoBuddy app, and many of the features that I wanted to see in the app have been implemented, as well as some new ones!

I’m this review, I’ll be covering the latest features up to version 1.7.7.

https://youtu.be/FOV-13F8R3k
About OstoBuddy
Product name: OstoBuddy for Android and iOS
Version: 1.7.7 (reviewed)

Simply put, OstoBuddy is an app for smartphones and tablets that allows to keep track of your ostomy supplies, keep a record of your ostomy supply use, and serves as a reminders app for scheduled appliance changes.  This unique feature set is something that you won’t find in any other app, and it’s helped me to keep information in one convenient place.

When starting the app, you are greeted with the following home screen, which offers you quick access to the app’s core features.

OstoBuddy 1.7.7 Home screen
Clean interface that gives quick access to some key information.
Ostomy Supply Tracking

Many ostomates have a lot of supplies to keep track of, and losing track of what you’ve got can be inconvenient (run out of wafers?  Oops!) or costly (oh, you already had a box of barrier wipes when you ordered another two?). For those of us who request samples, this app will keep track of what came in and what you’ve got left. OstoBuddy simplifies this by allowing you to enter in the brands, product codes, quantities on hand and last order date of the products you have on hand.

OstoBuddy Supplies list old vs new
Several changes to the supplies list view: Item sorting and product # are two of them.

As you can see from the supply list screen, you’re able to see all relevant information for each supply you’ve entered.  One of the more recent updates has also added the item code to this view, which I find really convenient.

In addition, it also allows you to set a trigger to let you know when you’re getting low on anything.  New since my first review (and a feature I requested ), is the option to set a low-stock limit on a per-item basis.

A recent feature that’s bound to make getting started with the app a lot easier, is the inclusion of barcode scanning, which gives you the ability to scan in new supplies using your device’s camera.  The app reads the barcode and matches it to a database of supplies.   Currently this feature is limited to Coloplast,ConvaTec and Hollister products sold in the United States, but a global database is being worked on.  I live in Canada, but many products still scan just fine for me.

OstoBuddy Barcode scanning demo

A limitation with the barcode scanning, which is currently being worked on, is that it only works when adding new products to your list, and does not add to items that you’ve already entered.

If you’ve got a lot of samples entered in your inventory, this list view may get cluttered.  I’ve requested an option to hide certain products from this list; I’ve been told that this will be included in a future update.

Appliance Change History w/ Photo and Note Logging
OstoBuddy History list old vs new
Notes can be seen in the list view, and photo logging has been added!

While I make extensive use of the inventory tracking features, my favorite feature is the appliance change history function.

OstoBuddy allows you to record each appliance change, and since my last review, the developer has implemented a feature that I really wanted to see: the ability to include a photo with each appliance change entry.

I will mention that I’ve taken photos of my stoma and peristomal skin with every appliance change,  since I got home from surgery in 2013, and keeping a visual history has been helpful when trying to see how certain products affected my skin, or to note when skin issues were beginning.  Many of the ET nurses I’ve been in contact with are glad that I’m able to provide them with photos via email on on my phone (if I’m talking to them face to face.

OstoBuddy Use entry screen old vs new
Oh man! Add a photo and notes to your appliance change record!

The fact that OstoBuddy can now consolidate the process, while also allowing me to see which products I used on a particular appliance change AND read/write notes about specific changes, makes this a highly value feature.

I’d love for a calendar view to be implemented at some point, as well as a photo gallery view, but the current list view works really well and doesn’t limit the apps functionality.

Also worth noting is that in addition to noting full appliance changes, the latest version of OstoBuddy also allows you to mark partial changes without it affecting your reminder schedule. This option comes in very handy if you use regular consumables like gelling products or pouch liners which aren’t related to your appliance change; this will also be convenient for ostomates who replace their two-piece pouch more often than their wafer.

Reminders
OstoBuddy Notification screen
This feature allowed me to stop tracking appliance changes on my calendar (which was a pain!).

Along with keeping a log of your supply usage, OstoBuddy can also be configured to remind you when an appliance change is due.

This works well if your appliance changes tend to be consistent (for me,it’s every three days), but at the very least you’ll know when your last full appliance change was.

In addition to reminders, OstoBuddy also includes widget support on Android (another feature I really wanted), so you can always see where you are at in your appliance change schedule or supply inventory.

OstoBuddy 1_7 widget android
On Android, you can add a resizable widget to your home screen.
Conclusion

At the time of this writing (Jan 2016), OstoBuddy is available on the Google Play Store and Apple App store (iTunes ) for US$0.99 FREE!!.

Pros
  • Offers an easy way to manage Ostomy supply inventory.
  • Keeps a visual record on your stoma and peristomal skin.
  • Logs appliance changes and supply use with the ability to add notes to each entry.
  • Reminds you of upcoming appliance changes.
  • Let’s you know when you are getting low on supplies and thresholds can be individually customized per supply.
  • Allows you to contact your supplier directly through the app.
  • Barcode scanning offers an intuitive way of entering new supplies.
Cons
  • Barcode scanning will not add new quantities to existing entries.
  • No native backup or sync solution.
Highly Recommended

If you’re looking for an easy way to manage your supply inventory from your mobile device, this is the app you’ll wan to use. If you’d like to keep track of your appliance changes, as well as record your skin’s health using photos, this app is for you.

I’ve been a huge fan of OstoBuddy since before it was launched, and it keeps getting better and more useful by the day.

For more information about this app, please visit http://ostobuddy.com/ or search for it on your Android or iOS app store.
You can download the app by clicking on the appropriate store button below:

Available_on_the_App_Store

android-app-on-google-play-black

Updated Jan 26, 2016: App went free.

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7 thoughts on “Ostobuddy (2015): REVIEW (w/ video)

  1. Thanks for the review! I never even thought to check to see if there were any ostomy apps. This one looks worth trying for sure. I’ve been using sheets of loose leaf for 39 years; I guess I should join the 21st Century :-) When I checked the website it seems a new version is on the way as well. I shall be trying it out. One question: do you have any privacy concerns with the app. Thanks again for the tip. Cheers.

    • It’s totally worth it!

      Regarding privacy, which is something that I take seriously when using online services, I don’t have any real concerns with the app. I’m in communication with the developer (we’ve become friends) and I trust him.

      The privacy policy may change as newer features come up, but anything new should be noted in their privacy policy:
      http://ostobuddy.com/privacy/

  2. I just downloaded this and I think it will be very useful. Now I can keep all my supplies in one location instead of in my head or on!scraps of paper.

  3. Thanks for your review. it make me discover features. I agree on the missing sync/save feature and requested it. Also export of data to email xml and pdf are needed. All in all nice addition to rxdroid managing my med stock and use as it allow for notes.

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