How do you take a static list of over 6,000 support groups and exercise classes and make it easier for people to find the information they need? What do people impacted by Parkinson’s need? How can we best use technology to serve those needs? These were some of the questions PMD Alliance set out to tackle in early 2020. We began by listening, by hearing your challenges, navigating them alongside you, and then taking action to create life-changing solutions.
First we harnessed the power of Zoom and online programs. We knew even before COVID-19 uprooted many of our lives, that while we loved traveling to and seeing so many of you in person, that there needed to be a way for folks to access this important information no matter where you were located. More than that, you needed to connect with one another more than once a year! By the time COVID-19 had us sheltering in place, we were able to pivot easily, and have held over 250 online programs since January!
That is 250 opportunities for people to connect with one another – no matter where you live or what your situation is!
But what about ways to talk with people in your shoes, to exercise, and to try new things like art therapy or music classes? You shared the need for an easy way to find ways to connect with people locally, to meet friends, and stay moving.
We began by scouring the internet, and reached out to our network to gather information from thousands of individuals, institutions, and groups nationwide. We took that and created the only comprehensive nationwide directory of Parkinson’s-specific support groups and exercise classes. But you pushed us and inspired us to continue to iterate, to find a better way to search through the data.
Enter stage right: PMD Alliance’s new app PD&Me!
With PD&Me you can connect with other people impacted by movement disorders through classes, support groups, resources and more! Interested in Tai Chi? Weightlifting? Singing? Speech Therapy? Or maybe you just want to see what is available in your area? By granting access to your location, the app will populate classes and groups near you without you having to do anything else!
“Favorite” the groups and classes that you want to attend, reach out to the main contact, or find directions to the nearest facility (even join in online!)
PD&Me is available in the App Store and the Google Play store now and is FREE to download!