Hyperparathyroidism is a disease of the parathyroid glands that slowly destroys many tissues of the body. It’s caused by the over-production of parathyroid hormone (PTH) which is usually caused by one or more parathyroid tumors. Dr. Jim Norman of the Norman Parathyroid Center, recognized the correlation between high calcium levels in the blood and hyperparathyroidism, and wanted to create a way for people to use blood calcium results to determine their risk for hyperparathyroidism.

The Requirement

The CalciumPro app presented several challenges for the design and development team in terms of functionality and usability. They were challenged to make sure the app accurately analyzed patients’ test results against those of thousands of others stored in Dr. Norman’s proprietary database.

The app needed to be intuitive and user-friendly, present the interpretation of the patient’s test results in a way that both patients and providers would immediately understand, and direct patients and providers with the next steps – i.e., further information, resources, and treatment options.

Ultimately the goal of the CalciumPro App was to be the equivalent to a user spending hours with the world’s most experienced doctors teaching them about their personal calcium, parathyroid, osteoporosis ,and vitamin D issues.

Our Solution

CalciumPro app users upload and store the results of their blood calcium, bone density, and other tests to determine their likelihood of parathyroid disease, understand treatment options, and access a comprehensive resource library.

To indicate the likelihood of a patient having parathyroid disease, the Haneke Design team came up with the idea to use gauges – similar to those you might see on a car’s dashboard. The patient can clearly see by looking at the gauges for My Risks, for example, if the analysis of his or her test results indicates a risk factor of “None,” “Slight,” “Moderate,” “Significant,” or “High” for osteoporosis, certain cancers, kidney stones, and heart disease.The General Analysis screen will state very clearly – via a rating of “Very Unlikely,” “Unlikely,” “Possible,” “Likely,” or “Very Likely” that a patient has hyperparathyroidism.

Tracking tools were developed to show patients their calcium and vitamin D levels over time, and will show if their bones are losing density (worsening osteoporosis), or gaining bone density. There are important learning tools on every page, and an extensive video and reading library at the end. The CalciumPro app provides guidance about talking to a physician regarding the possible need for surgery and other important steps.

The Results

The CalciumPro app has been successful on several fronts: as an innovative, low cost tool in the detection of high blood calcium and related parathyroid disease; as a revenue generator for Dr. Norman’s surgical practice; and best of all, for finally resolving years of pain, frustration, and expense endured by patients who have suffered with undetected parathyroid tumors.

Within a year of its launch date,  an average of nine people per day had been diagnosed with a parathyroid tumor by using the CalciumPro app. Every user who received a result of “Very High” on their analysis within the app had been found at surgery to have a parathyroid tumor, resulting in an accuracy rating of 100%.

In terms of revenues, the surgeries referred to Dr. Norman’s practice through the app generated additional gross revenue of $363,000 to his practice within 14 months, along with nearly $50,000 from sales of the $5.99 app itself.

 

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