research2guidance has published a short article on how migraine sufferers constitute an underserved market, and how present apps do not meet their needs. Here is an opportunity for app developers and companies to address a common and often near-intractable pain that affects everyday life. The author is David Ireland, Research Analyst, r2g Berlin.
Migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world affecting 1 billion people worldwide^. However, this demographic of migraine sufferers is heavily underserved by mobile health applications, with only 0.2% of migraine sufferers using a migraine app*. But why? A major opportunity exists for an application with the right strategy, and the right balance of features and functionalities to lead the market, while having a positive impact on the health of migraine sufferers.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation (2017), migraine is the sixth most disabling illness in the world. More than 4 million people suffer from chronic migraine attacks every day. U.S. healthcare and loss of productivity costs are estimated to be around US$36 billion annually; just the cost of brain scans of headache sufferers alone comes in at around US$1 billion per year. Migraines are responsible for a huge loss in productivity, rendering 90% of sufferers unable to function normally, costing U.S. employers US$13 billion, and 113 million work days in 2016.
Far from being just a bad headache, migraine attacks can cause a diverse range of disabling symptoms such as severe pain, nausea and visual disturbance. While medications exist to help treat symptoms, migraine sufferers need to carefully manage their medication intake, while monitoring risk factors such as food, sleep and triggers to treat, and prevent the condition from becoming chronic. Tracking medication is critical, as most chronic migraine sufferers are a result of medication overuse^.
The main promise of migraine apps is to provide migraine sufferers with a way to better manage their condition, decreasing the chances of migraine attacks, of headaches intensifying into migraines, and of the condition becoming chronic. To achieve this, migraine apps could provide users with the following (in no particular order of priority):
- Log-books / diaries: recording migraine events to help the user better understand their condition, while allowing for a better communication between the user and GP
- Reporting: for analyzing and summarizing the users’ behavior, triggers, risk and symptoms, while allowing for a better communication between the user and GP
- Information repository: peer-reviewed educational content aimed at educating the user on neurological conditions, and how best identify, treat, manage and prevent them
- Pattern recognition: based on historical user data to notify the user of high-risk scenarios (more…)