New Iron Tracker app now available
Posted September 19th, 2014 by webadmin
Two professors and their students have created an app that will help people with hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC) – also known as the Celtic Curse – track their body’s iron levels throughout their treatment.
Dr. Gary Grewal, of the University of Guelph, along with Dr. Andrew Hamilton-Wright, of Mount Allison University, in partnership with the Canadian Hemochromatosis Society, led the development of the Iron Tracker app to fill a need for people to monitor their treatment and life-long progress in a single place, where they can manage de-ironing appointments, track and visualize bodily hemoglobin and ferritin levels, and get a sense of their wellbeing. HHC is an iron metabolism disorder that causes the body to absorb two to three times the normal amount of iron and is potentially fatal if undiagnosed and untreated.
An estimated 125,000 Canadians have two copies of the gene that puts them at risk of iron overload. Over 3.5 million Canadians carry one gene (they are called “carriers”). This number is significant because when two carriers have children, the offspring are at risk of having both genes, and thus at risk for iron overload. It is extremely prevalent in people of European (e.g. French, German, Scandinavian) and Celtic (e.g. Irish, British, Scottish) descent, but others can also be affected. Left untreated, the excess iron builds up in vital organs, tissues and joints, where it can cause a number of debilitating and potentially fatal complications and diseases.
Grewal, whose mother is Scottish and father from northern India, was diagnosed with hereditary hemochromatosis in 2010. After initially using a spreadsheet to monitor his treatment, he later felt an app would be useful for others as well as himself. “There’s nothing out there like this,” says Grewal.
Iron Tracker is free and available for download on the Google Play (TM) store and the App Store. More information on Iron Tracker is available at www.irontracker.ca