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Ex-Google Executive Develops App for Chronic Illness

Update Date: Oct 29, 2014 11:19 AM EDT
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Many apps are created to make life easier. Over the past few years, apps designed to improve healthcare and management have gotten popular. Now, a former Google and eBay executive, Stephanie Tilenius, has jumped on that wagon as well with her app, Vida.

"Everyone should be able to afford a health coach," said Tilenius reported by Forbes.

According to Tilenius, Vida can help people manage chronic illness for $15 a week. It enlists the help of online "health coaches" that encourage the users to adopt healthy habits that can lead to improved overall health, such as weight loss and diabetes prevention.

The coaches are made up of doctors, nurses, medical assistants and nutritionists, who can also monitor the users' progress over time. Users can select the kind of coach they want, ranging from drill sergeant to an analyzer. Tilenius added that in order to ensure a high quality of care, the company accepted and trained only one percent of all applicants.

"People don't know how to manage these conditions," Tilenius, who was inspired by her father, said in an interview with Reuters reported by Yahoo! News.

To test the app, Tilenius has partnered with Duke Medicine and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. At the latter facility, 100 leukemia patients who had stem cell transplants will use the app for three months. The app will help the patients achieve the goal of reducing their likelihood of a transplant rejection by reminding them to take their immunosuppressant drugs. The health coach will also encourage patients to follow dietary guidelines and help them manage their stress levels.

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