SpotPOTS is a project of Make4Covid. Make4Covid is a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) non-profit that started in 2020 and originally had over 2,000 volunteers who created and distributed over 100,000 pieces of PPE for free at the beginning of the pandemic (see Make4Covid.co for more info).
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (aka POTS) is an autonomic nervous system disorder. In recent years, Long COVID has caused a surge in POTS. Pre-pandemic estimates were 1-3 million Americans suffered from the disorder. Since then, research estimates that at least 6 million Americans have POTS.
One of the main characteristics of POTS is an increased heart rate upon standing. For adults, if there is a heart rate increase of 30 bpm or more within the first 10 minutes of being upright, this would be considered a positive result as long as a person isn’t experiencing orthostatic hypotension. Symptoms that may also be seen in POTS include lightheadedness, shortness of breath, brain fog, and fatigue.
SpotPOTS is an app which allows users and doctors to learn more about the condition, test for, and receive information which may help lead to a formal medical diagnosis. However, SpotPOTS itself does not provide any diagnoses.
Our free app guides users through a 10 minute stand test where users input their heart rates at instructed times. Upon completion, a results page is generated showing any heart rate changes on a visual graph. Our app calculates and tells users if their heart rate meets the technical criteria for POTS (although we emphasize that this isn’t a diagnosis). Additionally, users can take a validated COMPASS-31 survey which may provide insights into other symptoms. These symptom results are displayed on a bar graph which is also built into the results page.
The app uses randomized access codes so that we do not collect any personal health information. We do not know who our users are or what information they are entering. With that said, users do have the ability to retrieve previous results using the randomized codes which we provide at the start of an assessment.
SpotPOTS isn’t meant to act as a diagnostic tool, but we present data and information based on user inputs which can be shared with medical providers in the hopes of leading to a formal diagnosis and treatment.
What our grantee is saying: "Our team working on SpotPOTS is humbled and extremely appreciative to receive this grant from the Awesome Foundation’s Disability Chapter. We are currently testing the app with patients and medical providers and this funding helps as we move towards a public launch. POTS affects millions of people and current estimates show that 25% of those affected become disabled. Despite this, POTS is often poorly understood and can take years to receive a formal diagnosis. We want to help change that.
We want to thank the Awesome Foundation’s Disability Chapter and its Trustees for believing in this project and believing in us. We’re hopeful that when released, SpotPOTS will become an impactful tool in education as well as helping users receive a formal diagnosis and treatment from medical providers."
What our trustees are saying: "I love this project because it's a perfect example of mutual aid. It is so hard to get appointments with medical providers, and so many medical providers do not understand POTS."
Funded by Disability (March 2023)