A new app called Tracto, which allows parents of children with mental health challenges to keep track of what’s going on in their lives, has brought much-needed relief in managing behaviour and treatment with the touch of a button.
Developed in South Africa, the free app enables parents and teachers to collaboratively track any new developments among children with mental health or neurodiverse conditions including ADHD, autism and anxiety. After allowing for more accurate, in-time documenting of observations, Tracto then facilitates the convenient sharing of information with health care providers.
Tracto was made available on app stores in July after two years of research and development and is already being used by more than 200 parents.
Mom praises lifesaver app
Jocelyn Purchase from Cape Town, told Health-e News that she started using the online tool about three months ago and finds it extremely useful in tracking and managing treatment for her son. The Grade 4 learner suffers from epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder (a condition related to the brain that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others).
“I got to know about it through my son’s school, Shelanti Private School. The app has been been helpful in tracking his medication as it sends me reminders of when to give it to him, like in the mornings and afternoons. And if anything is happening in his life, I can make a note of it on the app,” explained Purchase.
She said the handy tool also helps monitor her son’s epilepsy seizures.
Journal feature gives valuable insight
“When I see the psychiatrist or the paediatrician, I can make notes. I’m also able to tell the doctor when last he had a seizure or what could’ve brought it on. I’m able to call up anything that might’ve happened in my child’s life using the journal feature on the app.”
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Available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, Tracto aims to address and identify key problems, monitor a child’s progress over time and improve access to care by delivering affordable digital therapies and tools directly to parents which they can access from anywhere at any time.
Purchase said the platform has made her life easier since she’s able to track anything that might happen at school via the journal.
“You are able to scroll back and see what could’ve contributed to your child having a bad day at school,” added Purchase, who’d like to see more parents making use of the app as they look after their children with special mental health needs.
Make it easier for parents
According to Herman Lintvelt, co-founder of Augmental Technologies, which is the brain behind Tracto, the app has been developed to make life easier for parents who are looking after children with mental health challenges.
“I am a parent myself and we spoke to hundreds of parents in developing this solution and one thing we have learned is that as soon as your child is not ‘normal’ in a sense of some condition or anxiety especially during this COVID-19 era, suddenly it becomes a lot harder being a parent, said Lintvelt.
“What we are trying to do with Tracto is to support parents and make it easier in managing their child’s condition.”
Lintvelt added that another school, Table View Primary School, have also started using the app and he encouraged all interested parents and teachers to download Tracto.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health conditions, such as childhood epilepsy, developmental disabilities, depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders, are major causes of causes of illness and disability among young people. Globally, about 10% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders, but most of them don’t seek or receive care. Half of all mental health conditions start by the age of 14. The consequences of not addressing mental health and psychosocial development for children and adolescents extend to adulthood and limit opportunities for leading fulfilling lives. – Health-e News