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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Teenager transforms allergy community with innovative new Allergy Me apps

Adam Foot, 16, is the mastermind behind Allergy Me, a line of apps which are designed to help allergy sufferers.
Adam has suffered from a peanut allergy all his life, having been diagnosed at three years old. He recently undertook the BOPI (Boiled Oral Peanut Immunotherapy) research trial at St Mary’s Hospital in London. Unfortunately, Adam was unsuccessful in getting through because he reacted too much to the small doses of boiled peanut being administered. This disappointment spurred him on to look for ways he could help other people with allergies.
Allergy Me: Medical ID and Allergy Me: Translate were born from this. Allergy Me: Medical ID allows the user to enter personal data and information such as: allergies, the severity of the allergy, the reaction signs to look for and emergency contacts. The information can be accessed whether the phone is locked or unlocked, meaning anyone could access your information in an emergency situation. An alarm feature is also enabled so that people nearby are alerted if you are having an allergic reaction; it then explains how to help.
Adam said, “Originally, I decided to make an app that showed just my allergies on my phone and Apple Watch but, I then decided that this app could benefit others. I had a quick look on the App Store and found that there were only Medical IDs on there that didn’t go into enough detail for what I wanted. So, I decided to make my app so that others suffering with allergies could benefit from it too.”
Allergy Me: Translate has been designed to make travelling abroad a breeze. The app translates simple phrases between English, French and Spanish so that people with allergies can communicate their needs more easily. The user can choose from a list of common translations and restaurant staff can reply with a response from the list.
Having started to learn computer programming at school using a programming language called Python, Adam soon found that to learn how to make iOS apps, he would first need to learn how to use a different programming language, Swift. Schools don’t provide this training, so Adam was on his own to learn how to use it. Using resources from home such as iTunes U and YouTube, he was able to build his confidence in programming and ultimately in building his apps.
When discussing the benefits of using these apps, Adam said, “I think that this would help benefit allergy sufferers as they would feel safer knowing that if they were to have an allergic reaction, then people around them would know what to do. By having the information on your phone or Apple Watch, people around you and paramedics are going to know what to do sooner, minimising the effects as much as possible. I have added an emergency alarm into the AllergyMe: Medical ID app as it will reassure people if they were having an allergic reaction on their own and required emergency attention from someone around them.”

Allergy Me: Medical ID and Allergy Me: Translate are now available on iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, and Android.

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