FibroTrack Update 2-11-13

by on February 11, 2013

Lots of great stuff is happening with FibroTrack so lets jump right into reviewing what’s going on and what new stuff is coming soon!

I posted the video interview last week with Dr. Deborah Barrett, author of Paintracking. When I first posted the video I really goofed and somehow managed to upload the incorrect edited version which had far too much boring video of me talking! I had to re-edit the video and I got the corrected version posted the next day but I know many of you missed it because when you first visited the blog page the video was not present. So… all is fixed now so PLEASE – check out this really great interview here -

Dr. Deborah Barrett Video Interview

Making it Easier to Get Started with FibroTrack!

One of the main challenges with designing a system like FibroTrack is to have it provide all of the deep functionality and features that some users may need while also having it be quick and easy to learn so that new users can jump right in. We need both sophistication and simplicity – not a combination that is easy to define!

It has been fantastic getting feedback from users since the FibroTrack launch and the overwhelming majority of comments I have received from users have been very positive. But – I have gotten some suggestions and complaints (and I definitely welcome complaints as this really helps me work to improve the system). Pretty much all of the suggestions have been focused on making it easier to understand what the new user should focus on first and simplifying the process of starting to use FibroTrack.

The tutorial videos are sometimes fairly long (up to 40 minutes) and they cover a tremendous amount of material. This is because the tutorials are designed to teach the user every tiny detail about exactly how to use all of the features and functions contained in FibroTrack. But the reality of any software system is that most users will never use all of the features that are available – and this just fine! A great example is Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet program. I am an expert Excel user. I have put together some massive spreadsheets in my day including formulas that run pages long. But even though I have been an expert Excel user for over a decade, there are still tons of features and capabilities built into Excel that I have no idea what they do and probably never will because its stuff I don’t need.

The number and length of the tutorials and the obvious presence of so many capabilities built into FibroTrack can cause some new users to gain the impression that FibroTrack is too complicated or difficult to learn. This feeling of being overwhelmed is exacerbated by fibro-fog, fatigue and other fibromyalgia symptoms.

FibroTrack is simple to learn and use. Once the basics of how the user interfaces function are understood, moving forward with using the system is quick and easy. But – this only becomes obvious to the user after they have actually begun to use the system and getting to that point may be a struggle for the new user who first logs into FibroTrack and feels a bit lost relative to what they should start doing first.

FibroTrack Quick Start Guides.

To address these issues and make FibroTrack much easier to rapidly get started with, over the past several weeks I have produced a series of 7 new videos that make up the new “Quick Start Guides“. The Quick Start Guides are exactly that – a simplified and much briefer set of instructional videos that walk the new user very quickly through learning what should be done first. The QSG videos range from 3 minutes to 6 minutes long. These videos walk the new user step by step in a very easy to understand way through exactly what they should focus on doing first and then next. FibroTrack automatically sends an email reminder to do the next Quick Start Guide video every day over the course of the first week when a new member registers for FibroTrack. This helps the new user to very quickly and easily gain an understanding of how FibroTrack works, why they are doing the things they are being asked to do and how to actually use the system. Anyone who is interested can view the Quick Start Guide videos on YouTube using the links below – the QSG videos are also now built directly into FibroTrack in Tutorial #1.

- QSG #1 -  “Stuff You Need to Know”

- QSG #2 – “What Do I Do First?”

- QSG #3 – “Getting and Using the Mobile Apps”

- QSG#4 – “The Basics of Updating”

- QSG#5 – “Meeting Other Fibrotrackers”

- QSG#6 – “Treatment Programs”

- QSG#7 – “Moving Forward”

Remember – These QSG videos are not intended to replace the longer and more detailed tutorial videos, but rather to get the new user active in FibroTrack very quickly and easily so they begin building their own “Baseline of Data” while learning the deeper functionality at their own pace.

FibroTrack System Updates.

In response to several user suggestions, I have added some new symptoms to FibroTrack and added additional detail buttons to a number of others symptoms. The new additions are outlined below -

LifeTrack:  2 New Tracking Elements Added

- Weather Impact:  This allows the user to keep track of the weather and the impact the user perceives the weather having on their Fibromyalgia

- Energy Envelope:  This new tracking element helps the user to focus on managing their own daily energy envelope and understand the impact on symptoms of exceeding their energy boundaries.

Middle Back Body Area:   1 New Symptom Added

- Spine Area:  Allows the tracking of pain associated with the central area of the back focused in the immediate area of the spinal column.

Lower Back Body Area:   1 New Symptom Added

- Spine Area:  Allows the tracking of pain associated with the central area of the back focused in the immediate area of the spinal column.

Anxiety Symptom: Added detail buttons for – “Panic Attack”   ‘Excessive Worry”  and “No Known Cause”

Headache Symptom:  Added detail buttons for – “Cluster”  “Back of Head”  “Behind Eyes” and “Sinus Pressure”

Stiffness Symptom Changes:   I changed the name of this symptom from “Morning Stiffness” to “Body Stiffness” and added the following detail buttons: “Morning”  “When Awoken”  “From Sitting”  “After Exercise”  and  “Evening”

Fibro-Fog Symptom:  Added the following detail buttons:  “Memory Impaired”  “Poor Concentration”  “Cannot Focus”  and  “Confused”

Fatigue Symptom:  Added the following detail buttons:  “Mental Exhaustion”  “Body Weakness”  “Sleepy”  and  “Energy Crash”

Sore Throat Symptom:  Added the following detail buttons:  “Voice Impaired”  “Virus”  “Cold / Flu”  and  “Infection”

Heartburn Symptom:  Added the following detail buttons:  “After Meal”  “Acid Reflux”  and  “Throat Burning”

Menstrual Cycle Tracking:  Added the following detail buttons:  “Aching”  “Cramping” and “Excessive Flow”

PMS Tracking: Added the following detail buttons:  “Moody”  “Sad”  “Cramping”  and “Spotting”

What’s Next for FibroTrack?

We have a ton of new development work that is ongoing. Current efforts are focused on completing the last of the tutorials focused on the reporting functions. These should be complete within a week or so. We are also finishing up a new feature that allows individual line graph type analysis reports to be locally saved on your computer. The user can define a date range for the report and when the report is generated they can save the report to their hard drive thus making it very easy to share the report and to open it again anytime. This also makes it possible to open multiple report at the same time, thus making comparison analysis much easier.

We a new type of line graph report in development that will be formatted specifically for printing. These simplified reports can be emailed or printed making them easier to share with some care providers.

The Kindle mobile application is still in development and hopefully will be released before the end of February. There are also a number of new articles, blog postings and additional content scheduled for February.

A very exciting development is focused on bringing care professionals into the FibroTrack system. I have had inquiries from a number of different care providers ranging from fibromyalgia coaches to doctors, pain specialists, occupational therapists, chiropractors and others who focus on treatment fibromyalgia. These specialists are interested in using FibroTrack as a “home base” for managing their patient relationships and to increase the effectiveness of the care they provide.

To support this type of capability we are developing a new user type in FibroTrack called “Care Provider”. The care provider users will be bringing in their own patients to the FibroTrack system as well as potentially offering their services to other FibroTrack members as well.

I am very excited about the expansion in this direction, more details will follow on this in March! PLEASE – share FibroTrack with your care providers. If any of them are interested in using FibroTrack with their fibromyalgia patients, please contact me. You might even be able to earn a few bucks on the side by referring them!

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Dianne April 10, 2013 at 9:30 am

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