Do you want to know what is the best free bladder diary app? In this blog I will discuss the available free apps I found in the App Store (IOS) and Google Play (ANDROID) and reveal the ones I like best.
Make sure to read whole blog because in the end I have a free gift for you.
The European Association of Urology (EAU) recommends a three day bladder diary to assess lower urinary tract dysfunctions. There are a lot of different bladder diaries often self-constructed. These diaries have different questions that need to be filled in. Is there a gold standard? Well, I couldn’t find it. In this blog I will use the word ‘bladder diary’ but sometimes it is also called a voiding diary or frequency-volume (FVC) chart. In a FVC, only the time and volume of each void and fluid intake is recorded. A bladder diary measures besides time and volume different other aspects like: is it day or night, pad change, urgency when going to void, degree of incontinence and the activity one is doing just before the involuntary loss of urine. A paper bladder diary has several drawbacks. Some comments patients have are on the time it takes to fill in and that they have to take the pen and paper everywhere. Last but not least the clinician has to calculate all the totals. That takes valuable time that can be used more effectively (I often joke with my patients that I am practising my head calculating skills with the bladder diary).
SEARCH FOR APP
We ask a lot of our patients to fill in a bladder diary. In my practice I still use a paper bladder diary and to be honest I don’t know why. Because for a lot of my patients an app would be very handy and convenient. That’s how I got the idea to do this search for free bladder diary apps.
I searched with the following terms: bladder diary, voiding diary, micturition diary, and frequency- volume chart. I tried to be as thorough as possible but as I did this search in Holland in other countries you might find different apps.
To evaluate the apps I made a list of items I think are important in a bladder diary. But also items on user-friendliness, privacy etc. I didn’t include apps especially designed for men and children.
The items I preferably want in an app are: volume and time of voiding and fluid intake and the level of urgency. Besides this, I also want totals calculated and shown in the summary. With the new laws on privacy in Europe in mind a privacy statement I think is very important. I want to be sure that no personal data are collected.
I found 6 apps in the App Store (IOS) and 4 in Google Play (android).
As you can expect all but the Plog app have the option to fill in voiding volume and fluid intake and time. As the Plog app only covers voiding it is to my opinion really far too little and therefor I will not discuss this app any further. The app from Lofric (IOS and Android) has some issues registering data because it has not been updated. Therefor I will leave this app out of this review. Of the remaining 7 apps the ‘miction calender’ is available in IOS and android. Resulting in 6 apps for the review
In IOS there are 4 apps: the ‘Volume diary’, Vesica, Bladder Pal 2, and ‘Miction calender’.
Both Vesica and Bladder Pal 2 have a privacy statement. Therefor I will discuss the differences between these 2 apps. In Vesica you can fill in 5 levels of urgency which I personally really like. In Bladder Pal 2, the level of urgency cannot be recorded. In Vesica the total fluid intake and voided volume is not calculated in contrast to Bladder Pal 2. Not a must but a good extra is the option to register when you woke and went to bed in Vesica. On an accompanying website there is also a manual on how to use the app. The output in Vesica is in PDF and in Bladder Pal 2 an excel file. Both apps have their pros and cons. My favorite is although the totals are not calculated the Vesica app.
In Android there are 3 apps: ‘miction diary’, ‘voiding diary’, and ‘UriTrack’.
Unfortunately none of these 3 apps have a privacy statement. Ofcourse you have to make the decision whether you would recommend one of these apps or not. If you do, I would definitely suggest mentioning to your patient that there is no privacy statement in the app.
In the ‘miction calender’ the maximum fluid intake or voided volume is 600 ml. As larger volumes are not uncommon in voiding and fluid intake this was the reason to leave this app out of the review. That leaves us with the ‘voiding diary’ and ‘UriTrack’.
The UriTrack calculates totals in the app and the Voiding diary doesn’t. However in UriTrack the totals are not exported in the csv file(raw data). An option to solve this issue is by making screenshots. The other differences between the 2 apps are minor. In both the level of urgency can be measured. I think UriTrack is more user friendly and therefor my favorite Android app.
I have made a short instruction video on the Uritrack in English and Dutch. You will find it in my other YouTube channel for the public: https://www.pelvichealthchannel.com.
I have also written a short blog on the bladder diary (in Dutch and English) which is on https://www.pelvichealthchannel.com.
For all of you who want to know exactly what I looked at in the apps I have made a free PDF. You will receive it in the mail when you send a mail with the question to; firstname.lastname@example.org. In return I will add your name to the email list.
My favourite bladder diary app for IOS is Vesica and for ANDROID ‘UriTrack’. This review of apps is based on my personal opinion and taste. Maybe in your country you can find different apps in the App Store or in Google Play.
It would be great if you will share your experiences with apps for a bladder diary. Do you use an app as a bladder diary? Which one do you use? What do you think is important in a bladder diary? So I invite you to leave a comment.