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Customer Stories: Simon Brodie, 61

Simon was a Business Development Manager in a specialist division of IBM until an MS diagnosis, just over three years ago, eventually led to him retiring for medical reasons.

He found out about Howz when he read an article in a technology magazine and, with his background in the Internet of Things, wanted to find out if its sensors, connected to a cloud-based system, could provide him with meaningful and relevant information to help manage his condition.

He has shared Howz data with medical professionals and is reassured that, should he feel the need in the future, his four grown-up daughters could easily check-in with him remotely via Howz.

Simon said: “Howz was immediately of interest to me, because of my specialist background, but what really appealed was how unobtrusive the system sounded, so I wanted to see how much insight it could give me.

“MS can affect your bladder so I installed one of the sensors on my en-suite bathroom door to see how many times I was going to the loo at night. That information made me look at what I was eating and drinking during the day to see what was having an impact, but I was also able to share my data with my uro-neurology team, who have now given me a particular course of specialist treatment.

“The knowledge HOWZ provides me with allows me to feel more in control of my MS, which is really important. I am more in command with that knowledge.”

Simon, who now volunteers for The Parks Trust and the MS Society, believes HOWZ could provide support for a range of medical conditions. He said: “My work with IBM was all about identifying audiences and scaling programmes to suit those audiences. Bladder issues are common with MS, but they also affect other groups of people, like the over-60s, particularly men. HOWZ could very easily be scaled to suit a wide range of conditions like that and to provide the insight those people need to gain further guidance or medication to help them.

“I think it’s a great system to monitor routines. At the moment I don’t feel I need to share my data with any of my daughters, but it’s really reassuring to know that, should I need to in the future, I could easily ask one of them to keep an eye on me via the app.

“MS can cause falls. Fortunately, I’ve not had a major fall at home but I do want to be independent for as long as possible, without having to rely on anyone, and this helps me to feel in control and prepared. It’s allowed me to be a good patient because I’ve taken responsibility, can monitor what I do and the system is already in place if I need to share that insight further.”

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