A new product promises to make essential medical information available to consumers and healthcare professionals at the touch of a button.Its creator, Clare woman Mary Fitzgerald, believes the software, which stores files on computer, memory sticks or wallet cards, has the potential to revolutionise personal healthcare worldwide.
BodyTab is a system that stores personal medical history relating to everyday healthcare right through to serious illness.
"A BodyTab in every home would have untold benefits. It can also work as an educational tool. It is written from a medical point of view, but in plain English," Fitzgerald said. Fitzgerald hit upon the idea for BodyTab while undergoing chemotherapy herself.
"After I was diagnosed with cancer, I was going from specialist to specialist, and I found answering the same questions again and again very hard," she said.
"I did not feel that the health system supported me as a patient or allowed me to make informed decisions. I thought there had to be a better way."
BodyTab provides easy access to a person's complete medical history whenever it is needed.An additional information tool allows users to test and monitor medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and weight.BodyTab will be on sale to the general public from September and Fitzgerald is currently seeking a licensing or distribution partner to bring the product to several health-related markets.
"We now have 5,000 packs ready. It can be bought online at Bodytab.ie for e30 or in a paper version from pharmacies for e49.95," she said.
"It is a perfect fit for insurance or assurance companies to give out as part of their plans.
"Companies currently advise people to write down their various statistics, but they have no natural format or formula for doing it.
"We also see a fit with health and fitness centres who could give it out as part of a customer loyalty programme."
The product has the backing of The Irish Medical Organisation, Irish Heart Foundation and Irish College of General Practitioners.
"Those endorsements mean we can have complete faith in what we are selling. There were lengthy criteria that had to met, but it was worth it," said Fitzgerald.
Investment in the product, developed over a two-year period, totalled e170,000, and Fitzgerald is now seeking a partner to enable further development.