App LogoWe are so excited to announce that the self-assessment App, HIRT? is now available for free download on iTunes and for android  devices! This App was developed to help people with mild hemophilia to assess, monitor and make good choices about when to seek medical help with bleeding episodes. Congratulations to Winnipeg physiotherapist, Kathy Mulder and to Saskatoon physiotherapist, JoAnn Nilson.

Did you see the article about HIRT? in the Chapter newsletter? Here it is again:

The Hemophilia Injury Recognition Tool (HIRT?

This App will help people with mild hemophilia assess signs and symptoms that could indicate that they are having a bleed that needs treatment, and then help them get in touch with their hemophilia treatment center for further guidance. Those of you living with more severe bleeding disorders are now saying “What???? Why??? How can they not know this??”

Here’s the thing: people with mild hemophilia have SOME circulating clotting factor (definition of mild hemophilia is 5-50% factor levels). Because they have some clotting factor, they can often stop their bleeding without any other help. However, sometimes they go back to their activities too soon after an injury and start bleeding AGAIN. By this time they have used up all of their own clotting factor and their injury behaves more like that of someone with more severe hemophilia. It needs help!

The development of this app began several years ago: at meetings of the Canadian Physiotherapists in Hemophilia Care, physiotherapists would present their most challenging cases for discussion. In many cases, these were young adults with MILD hemophilia who got into serious trouble because they waited way too long to come in for treatment.  We all agreed that we needed to provide better education to people with mild hemophilia. But what was the best approach?

We interviewed several young adults with mild hemophilia (some of you participated) to learn more about what they knew. They told us:

  • the educational materials that were written for people with hemophilia did not apply to them
  • they did sports and activities that the hemophilia teams might not think were appropriate
  • HOWEVER they had very few injuries related to these activities
  • on the other hand, they didn’t really know what signs or symptoms to look for that would indicate when they needed treatment.

So we developed a decision making flowchart to help them assess their injuries. The chart instructed them to look for pain, swelling, warmth, and loss of motion. If any of these were present, they were instructed to apply first aid. If the symptoms were getting better in an hour, they could continue to monitor.  They were asked to reassess the next day- and the next- and the next. (Remember- these guys have some factor and can stop the bleeding AT FIRST).  If any of the signs were getting worse, we instructed them to contact their HTC for instructions. We asked some of the guys we had previously interviewed what they thought. They liked it! But they wanted to know if there was an App!

Sheesh. What’s an App? So we found some computer geeks to help us out and we built this App!!! We tested it out with a few of the guys who had looked at the flowchart. We refined it based on their feedback. And now it’s almost ready to go. People from other countries have already asked if they can use it too.

HIRT? Will is now available (for Androids and Smart Phones)