Symptom tracking apps seem to be available just about everywhere, but ostomy management apps are sorely lacking. Fortunately, one genius developer has come up with a solution, and he calls it OstoBuddy. OstoBuddy, which is available for both Android and iOS, is an ostomy supply tracker, history recording app, and appliance change reminder. In this review I’ll be covering those aspects of the app, which I purchased for myself through both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Supply Tracking: If you’re like me, you likely have a lot of ostomy supplies. As a relatively new ostomate, I have quite a few samples in addition to my regular supply stock, and keeping track of them is a bit daunting. Before using the app, I was counting my supplies obsessively and always worried that I’d be caught short if I wasn’t paying attention. OstoBuddy has eliminated the need to worry, as it gives me an easy way to see exactly what my supply levels are at.
Entering a new supply is easy and the app allows you to enter the manufacturer, product name and model number, in addition to the quantities on hand. You can also edit previously entered products, as well as add additional quantities when a new order comes in. The supplies are listed in alphabetical order, although I’d also like to see an option to sort by quantity and also to be able to see the model numbers and options to group supplies (so it’s easier to manage multiple supply locations if you don’t keep everything in a single spot).
The history screen is simple and quite functional, listing the time and date of earlier appliance changes. You also have the option to edit and delete past entries. Keeping track of your appliance change history can be handy in seeing what kind of wear time you’ve had. I’d love to see an option to add notes and a photo with the history, since I usually take photos with each appliance change in order to visualize how my skin looks over time. Those photos have been useful when talking to my stoma nurse about specific concerns. Here’s to hoping for a new feature :)
Tying in with the history log, OstoBuddy also allows you to set appliance change reminders at specific intervals and times. The app will give you a notification when the reminder is triggered. There is currently no option to “snooze” a reminder in case you want to delay an appliance change, but it would be nice to see in a future update.
Home screen and other features:
The OstoBuddy home screen is simple and offers some important details. You can see your last appliance change, your next appliance change, a notification if you’re getting the lowest on supplies and an option to contact your supplier. The low supply option can be set to a global trigger, and once any of your supplies reach that trigger, it’ll show on the home screen. Unfortunately, there’s currently no way to set specific triggers for each item, which would be nice to see since it’s realistic for me to have one or two cans of adhesive remover spray (they can last a month or more), while I’d consider it risky to have only two wafers on hand. Also, an option to ignore specific products from the “low supply” reminder would be nice if you keep several samples in small quantities. Here’s a demo of the app (v1.4 for Android):
At the time of this review (July 2014), the OstoBuddy app can be purchased for both Android and iOS for $0.99 depending on your platform and currency. The app works with just about any Android or iOS phone or tablet. There is currently no free version available, but I think it’s a few dollars well spent considering the time it saves over the long run. New features are planned, and the developer has been very responsive when it comes to bug fixes and feedback. Pros:
- Easy to use
- Saves time
- Works on Android and iOS
- Developer is awesome to work with and responds quickly to feedback/bug reports
- Keeps track of all your ostomy supplies for easy organization and reordering
- Reminds you when its time to change your appliance
- Keeps a history of your ostomy appliance changes, including which supplies you used at the time
- Allows you to quickly contact your supplier from the app (using the information you provide)
- No Android widget.
- No syncing between devices/operating systems
- No option to delay appliance change from the notification
- No option to add notes/photos to appliance change history
- No iPad-specific interface (yet)
If you’re an ostomate who wants an easy way to manage your ostomy supplies and setup reminders for your next appliance change, then OstoBuddy is a great way of doing that! You can download the app by clicking on the appropriate store button below (these are not affiliate links):