Content warning: descriptions of medical symptoms, blood, weight and food tracking.
Corra is a personal health app that is currently available in the Apple and Google Play stores. It can track a variety of health factors such as sleep, nutrition, and symptoms, which the app can then analyse to offer each user individual health insights over time. Corra also facilitates PDF downloads of health information which can be shared with a patient’s medical team.
Corra was founded by Elya Lane and is primarily aimed at people living with a chronic illness. It aims to help them track their symptoms and identify potential triggers in a way that is not currently offered by any other app on the market.
So, should you part with your hard earned cash to pay $5-$9 a month for a Corra subscription? Read on to find out!
(CLICK HERE to jump straight to a summary of my final thoughts on the app.)
Disclaimer: I was offered a three month free trial of Corra in exchange for my honest thoughts. I am not profiting from this review in any way, I simply believe in Corra’s mission and want to share more information with others who may benefit from it.
Corra is subscription-based service that costs users $4.99 per month for an annual subscription, or $8.99 per month for a month-to-month subscription. A two month free trial is currently offered, however, the app states that it can take up to a month for the A.I to start identifying correlations, and that the accuracy of these correlations will continue to evolve over time.
The Corra app was easy to download and start using.
The first step was to fill out some basic profile information. I have to say that I was a little disappointed by the limited options on the drop-down menu for ethnicity and gender. Above all, I would like to see Corra accomodate people who have a mixed racial background, and have more diverse gender options than “male, female or…other.”
(Please note: I have since spoken to Elya about these concerns and she is looking into how to best make the app more inclusive as part of its next update.)
Having said this, I appreciated that certain information that could be triggering to some users (such as height and weight) was optional.
The central home screen displayed my name, photo, current log streak, and the space where any reminders that I set would appear. There was also a button at the bottom of this screen which said “LOG” that needed to be pressed in order to display the different types of health data that could be input.
There were also four smaller buttons that surrounded the main “LOG” button. Calendar (which is automatically populated when you start filling out data), appointments and journal (which need to be manually populated) and PDF (where customised PDFs of tracked data and correlations can be downloaded).
I initially found the level of detail with which data could be logged to be overwhelming! However, I got used to this with time, and clearly this is the most important thing when it comes to getting accurate correlations from Corra’s A.I.
While I did eventually adjust to the interface and became faster at filling out new information, it was also a significant time investment to first set up the app and customise each of its features.
Before we discuss the insights that Corra offered me over a three month period, lets go through each of the health tracking features that the app offers:
This is a quick, 1-2 minute check in that can be used at anytime to log a rough overview of your physical, mental and emotional well-being. The tracking is done through a sliding scale of 0-100%, and also includes a space for adding notes. While, this may be helpful for some users, I preferred focusing on Corra’s more in-depth tracking tools, and didn’t find myself using this feature often.
In my experience, this was one of the most useful and in-depth tools in the app. Symptoms can be recorded at the exact date and time that they happen, as well as rated in terms of their severity. Individual notes can be left for each symptom if desired.
You can also add completely custom symptoms if you want to track something that is not currently in Corra’s database, and you can alter your list of tracked symptoms at any time. Symptoms are also divided into sub-categories (eg. allergy, digestion etc.), which makes filling out the data easy and logical, especially if you’re experiencing several symptoms at once.
It took me a little while to get used to the idea of tracking symptoms as they appeared (or remembering what time they happened), rather than just plonking them all down at once at the end of the day, but I did adapt to this with practice. Tracking symptoms in this way was definitely more accurate, and made it easier for me to make my own potential connections between symptoms and certain activities, or environmental factors.
Pain and injury
This is a useful tool if you are managing an ongoing injury, or trying to track your progress with multiple points of pain (and if you are reading this review, I’m willing to bet that you fall into one of these categories!). It features an image of a body, divided into several clickable parts. You can select one or more points of pain, note the severity, what makes it better or worse, add descriptive words, and add custom notes.
One very useful aspect of this feature is that questions are asked in a user friendly way such as “Cause of pain?” but are reported in medical terms such as “provocation’ when connected with the Doctor Pages PDF (which can also inform your doctor of other important health information such as which medications you are on).
I felt that this feature really encouraged me to think more about how certain activities were affecting my pain points, and also to celebrate my small successes when I made progress with injuries.
This feature was one of the main draw cards for me. Corra allows you to track your meals and snacks, as well as their individual ingredients. Some of the most useful correlations I received from the App’s AI were about the link between certain foods and the exacerbation of my symptoms (more on that later). If you are on an elimination diet or trying to figure out potential food triggers, this is an invaluable feature.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Set a goal for your fluid intake and track your progress towards it through out the day.
While I used to track my fluid intake, I personally prefer to go just go by “feel” these days. However, I do think this would be a useful feature for many people, especially those with dysautonomia symptoms.
This was another one of my favourite features. Corra allows you to track your individual activities during the day, their start time, duration, and intensity. The sub-categories and individual activity options are also fully customisable. This not only provides the A.I with a wealth of information, but also makes the user (=me) more conscious of when they may be over doing it.
Personally, this feature also made me more conscious of certain correlations before the app even suggested them to me. For example, I always noted bad facial pain after taking photos for the blog (from smiling I guess!?).
Medication and supplements
Fill out the details of your daily medication and supplement regimes and check them off as you take them throughout the day. You can input your dosage, custom notes, the time of the day they need to be taken (including if they are “as needed” or “rescue” medications), and even a photo if you would like. You can also receive reminder notifications if you have difficulty remembering to take them at the correct time.
This feature is not only great for making sure that you remember to take your medication, but also for tracking any changes in your usage (for example an increase in painkiller use) that may otherwise go unnoticed.
Finally, when used in conjunction with the symptom tracker, this is an excellent way to keep track of any side effects that may appear when starting or tapering off a new medication.
The only downside is that if you are a true medication mogul like me, it will take you a LONG time to do the initial set up for this feature.
Are you ready to be confronted with how poor your sleep habits actually are? Well then this is the feature for you!
Corra encourages you to input your bed time and wake times each day, as well as a self-assessment of your sleep quality. As always, you can also add custom notes about any notable night-time episodes (such as nightmares or bladder issues) that affected the quality of your sleep.
This feature can be used in conjunction with the rest of the app to to look at how things like medication, pain, or activity levels may be affecting your sleep.
One significant limitation of this is that it can be hard to judge the quality of one’s own sleep. It’s important to remember that if you struggle with persistent fatigue, you may need a professional sleep study to rule out sleep disorders, even if you don’t feel that you struggle to sleep well.
There aren’t many places where we can talk freely about the urgency and consistency of our bowel movements…but fortunately Corra is one of them!
Log the time, urgency, solidity and any pain associated with your bowel movements, and it will be included in the AI’s map of your health progress. I think this feature could be particularly helpful for people with GI issues, or people who are trying to figure out how certain foods affect them.
What I like about this feature is that you can track symptoms that occur even when you are not bleeding; so things like ovulation pain, breast swelling, and the PMDD rage monster can all be included, If you experience pelvic pain outside of actual menstruation you can easily include this too.
When it comes to bleeding, you can track the time, duration and heavyness of the flow. However, I wish there was also an option to include the colour and level of blood clotting, as these can also be important health indicators when it comes to the menstrual cycle.
Finally, this feature allows you to track your heart rate and blood pressure, either daily, or at specific times. This was not a helpful feature for me personally, as I do not have the equipment to measure my blood pressure, and I already track my heart rate with a chest strap. However, I imagine it would be helpful for people who are already tracking these factors with their own equipment, and wish to include the results alongside their other data.
Personal analysis and insights
I started to look at the A.I’s analysis of my health information after about a month of tracking.
The first correlations that really jumped out to me were ones connecting my food choices with symptoms. For example, the app identified relationships between nausea, vertigo and tachycardia, and foods that I now know to liberate a lot of histamine in the body, such as beans and cabbage. Cutting these foods out has already made a big difference in my life, something for which I am very grateful!
Interestingly, the app also identified a relationship between mindfulness activities, and symptoms such as tingling, numbness and confusion. I had already suspected this for some time, but was distrustful of my instincts as it seemed so counter-intuitive! I was glad to have the app confirm the relationship between relaxation/stress release and my neurological symptoms, and fortunately, I am now on an anti-seizure medication which seems to have completely stopped this problem.
Unsurprisingly, the app also identified a correlation between more active pursuits/periods of standing and higher levels of fatigue, vertigo, and throat and sinus inflammation. This is in line with my long-term perception of things, but it was nice to have the reminder of how important it is to take care of my energy levels.
Corra also identified a relationship between more cycling and more joint dislocations…oh dear!
On the other hand, Corra’s A.I beautifully illustrates the idea that correlation does not always equal causation. For example, it reported that if I slept for longer I had a higher chance of having a low grade fever. However, I think its safe to assume that it’s far more likely that I was sleeping more because I had a low grade fever coming on!
Similarly, the app made a link between the use of White Cross tablets and depression and anxiety. However, as this is a migraine rescue medication, I think a more likely explanation is that migraine makes me depressed and anxious during the postdrome, which of course happens to be within a day or two of taking white cross tablets.
Corra also correlated certain daily medications with regular symptoms such as fatigue. While it is very possible for certain medications to make fatigue worse, I have no real way of verifying the validity of this, as I experience fatigue on a daily basis, and have been taking most of my medications for sometime now. However, I do think that the identification of these relationships could be useful for someone who is just starting a new medication, and wants to see how it affects them.
It’s important to note that some of these inconsistencies could also be due to human error. I did not always remember to track symptoms as they happened, and may have incorrectly estimated the timeline of certain events when filling out the calendar later.
Problems and limitations
Although I have generally had a positive experience tracking my health with Corra, I did encounter some minor problems. I had difficulty changing between Imperial and Metric measurements, and also found buttons to go through short periods of being unresponsive.
Its also important to note that when adding custom content to one of the trackable health factors (eg. a custom symptom), you need to add the new term to the app’s library of options, scroll down alphabetically to find it again, and then add it manually to the section you are working in. I found this a bit finicky and not particularly intuitive, but of course its fine once you get the hang of it.
Finally, I wish there was a weather/environmental tracking aspect to this app. Barometric pressure and humidity are some of my main migraine triggers, and other environmental factors like smoke and dander levels have a big impact on my other allergy symptoms. I currently still use Migraine Buddy to track acute migraine episodes, their potential triggers, and the effectiveness of certain treatments against them, and I wish there was a way to integrate the information from these two apps, or even better, a way to track acute/complex health episodes like migraine within Corra itself.
I have word that incorporating local weather tracking is one of Corra’s planned updates, and I look forward to seeing this in action.
The most useful features for me have been the nutrition and symptom tracking, and the A.I’s suggested correlations between these two have been a great help on my journey to figure out my food triggers.
I also believe that other features of the app will be helpful for people who are at an earlier stage of their chronic illness journey, and are interested in more information about how certain physical and mental activities affect them, as well as the efficacy (or potential side effects) of any new medications.
Although the initial time investment for setting up Corra is large, it is worthwhile for anyone wanting to take greater control of their health information. Symptom tracking is hardly new, but Corra’s A.I eliminates a great deal of the grunt work when it comes to interpreting the information that we track. It also offers convenience aspects, such as being able to store all our health information in one, secure place, and providing us with optional reminders to help us stay consistent with our use of medications and supplements.
While the A.I does not entirely eliminate the need for a human interpretation of the logged health information, and occasionally suggests silly things, the app has other features that at least partially negate this problem. For example, the ability to include journal entries and curate PDF’s of data to give to medical professionals.
I also personally found that the in-depth logging required by the Corra app also made me more likely to draw connections between my health factors without even looking at Corra’s analysis.
I would like to see Corra add features to track the impact of environmental/weather conditions on health, and perhaps a way to track acute/unusual health episodes in detail. Corra is currently one of the more expensive apps on the market, and while this is not a criticism (as it is likely a natural by-product of being launched by an individual rather than a large-scale company), I suspect that some people who are already paying for other services like Migraine Buddy may have trouble justifying the additional monthly cost.
Interested in trying Corra?
In addition to a two-month free trial, Founder Elya is currently offering FREE one-one coaching sessions to help chronic illness warriors set up the Corra app and advise them on how to get the most of out the app according to their personal goals!
These sessions are available on a “first come first served basis” to the first 10 people, CLICK HERE to book your session with Elya.
For more information about Corra, or to download the app CLICK HERE.
Will you be trying the Corra app? Let me know in the comments below!