App to Self-Manage Low Back Pain

Principal Investigator: Blair Irvine, ORCAS (the company that sells the app)
Mobile-Web App to Self-Manage Low Back Pain: Randomized Controlled Trial

A Blair Irvine, et al.
J Med Internet Res 2015 (Jan 02); 17(1):e1

Background: Nonspecific low back pain (NLBP) is the diagnosis for individuals with back pain that has no underlying medical cause (eg, tumor, infection, fracture, herniated disc, spinal stenosis).
The American College of Physicians (ACP) and American Pain Society (APS) recommend multidisciplinary treatments for NLBP that lasts more than 4 weeks.
This approach, however, is impractical for many physicians to implement, and relatively few providers offer NLBP treatment that meets the joint ACP-APS guidelines.

Objective: This study evaluated the efficacy of a mobile-Web intervention called “FitBack” to help users implement self-tailored strategies to manage and prevent NLBP occurrences

Methods: A total of 597 adults were recruited, screened, consented, and assessed online at baseline, at 2 months (T2), and at 4 months (T3). After baseline assessments, participants were randomized into three groups: FitBack intervention, alternative care group that received 8 emails urging participants to link to six Internet resources for NLBP, and control group. The FitBack group also received weekly email reminder prompts for 8 weeks plus emails to do assessments. The control group was only contacted to do assessments.
Results: Users of the FitBack program showed greater improvement compared to the control group in every comparison of the critical physical, behavioral, and worksite outcome measures at 4-month follow-up. In addition, users of the FitBack program performed better than the alternative care group on
current back pain, behavioral, and worksite outcomes at 4-month follow-up.
For example, subjects in the control group were 1.7 times more likely to
report current back pain than subjects in the FitBack group; subjects in the
alternative care group were 1.6 times more likely to report current back
pain at 4-month follow-up. Further, the users of the FitBack program showed
greater improvement compared to both the control and alternative care groups
at 4-month follow-up on patient activation, constructs of the Theory of
Planned Behavior, and attitudes toward pain. Conclusions: This research
demonstrated that a theoretically based stand-alone mobile-Web intervention
that tailors content to users’ preferences and interests can be an
effective tool in self-management of low back pain. When viewed from the
RE-AIM perspective (ie, reach, efficacy/effectiveness, adoption,
implementation fidelity, and maintenance), this study supports the notion
that there is considerable value in this type of intervention as a
potentially cost-effective tool that can reach large numbers of people. The
results are promising considering that the FitBack intervention was neither
supported by professional caregivers nor integrated within a health
promotion campaign, which might have provided additional support for
participants. Still, more research is needed on how self-guided mobile-Web
interventions will be used over time and to understand factors associated
with continuing user engagement. Clinical Trial:


You need motivational support to turn knowledge into action

Behavior Change Techniques in Top-Ranked Mobile Apps for Physical Activity
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 46(6): 649–652, June 2014
David E. Conroy, PhD, et al.

Top-ranked apps (n=167) were identified on August 28, 2013, and coded using the Coventry, Aberdeen and London–Revised (CALO-RE) taxonomy of behavior change techniques during the following month.

Behavior change techniques are not widely marketed in contemporary physical activity apps.
Based on the available descriptions and functions of the observed techniques in contemporary health behavior theories, people may need multiple apps to initiate and maintain behavior change.

journalistic version:
Most Fitness Apps Don’t Use Proven Motivational Techniques
May 06, 2014
“You need motivational support to turn that knowledge into action,” says David Conroy, a kinesiology professor at Penn State who led the study


4 Proven Ways to Increase Your Motivation to Exercise
July 2016


a web-based clinical decision support system proven to enhance diagnostic accuracy, aid therapeutic decisions, and improve patient safety.





Primary Care Dermatology Society

cleanser: salicylic acid


The Quantified Self Movement

The Jawbone UP’s sleep tracking system

Want To Make Your Life Better? Keep Track Of It
January 03, 2014

The Quantified Self movement promotes something called life logging. That means tracking all kinds of details of your life in order to improve it. Kitty Ireland works for a life logging app called Saga. David Goldstein turned to life logging with the help of a coach.

These days, some people are trying to improve their health with gadgets and apps. They gather data about eating habits and exercise, and that’s just the beginning in the Quantified Self movement.
It promotes life logging, which aims to improve life by tracking as many details as possible.

Patients Lead The Way As Medicine Grapples With Apps

Patients Lead The Way As Medicine Grapples With Apps 
June 18, 2013

Doctors aren’t sure which of the roughly 40,000 available apps do what they claim to do.

The FDA is working on regulations for the mobile medical apps that can turn a mobile platform into a medical device.
It does not plan to regulate diet or exercise apps.
A few private companies are stepping in to do that task.
Ben Chodor started Happtique, a company that reviews apps and gives those that at least perform correctly a seal of approval.

It’s the Wild West and someone needs to come in and at least help the consumers and the clinicians and the payers sort through the forty thousand-plus apps that are already out there,” says Chodor.

And many unresolved questions swirl around the data collected by medical apps

Yes, There’s Probably A Medical App For That
August 10, 2012

Making Babies? Yep, There’s An App For That
October 11, 2013
Dozens of fertility self-tracking apps have popped up on the market in the last few years.
These apps assume a woman is ovulating regularly. But if you’re having periods every two to three months, you may not be ovulating at all.

Keyword: Quantified Self movement

Who Could Be Watching You Watching Your Figure?

Who Could Be Watching You Watching Your Figure? Your Boss
December 26, 2012

Big data raise big privacy issues

Self-tracking has become a way for companies to make money using your fitness data.
And some experts worry that the data collected could be used against users in the long run.

self-tracking health device


Keyword: Quantified Self movement


Harvard professor debunks the biggest exercise myths | Daniel Lieberman
August 21, 2022

apps123 exercise123