New, free app predicts how weather can affect health

A new free app called Blisly can predict how weather variations will affect your health, including asthma, allergies and migraines.

A level 2 tells migraine sufferers to 'be cautious' while a level 4 advises 'consider changing plans'

Islanders are all too familiar with all different kinds of weather. (Submitted by John Morris)

A new free app called Blisly can predict how weather variations will affect your health, including asthma, allergies and migraines.

The app was developed by Montreal-based Jocelyne Blouin, who was a meteorologist with Radio-Canada for 33 years. Now, Blouin is the vice-president of research and meterorology for Blisly — an app that's designed to let people better manage their weather-sensitive conditions. 

"I did some research on the implications of weather and health, this was something that really interested me," she shared with Mainstreet P.E.I.'s Angela Walker. Since her retirement five years ago, Blouin said, she's had time to delve into that research. 

Jocelyne Blouin is a meteorologist who worked for Radio-Canada for 33 years and has now developed the new app calledd Blisly. (Radio-Canada)

Blisly created indexes for asthma, migraines, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and seasonal allergies. Three out of five Canadians suffer from one of these complaints, Blouin said. 

Free advice

"We already knew because of the scientific literature that weather has an effect on certain diseases," she explained.

"It sends you an index of the risk that the weather conditions could exacerbate your symptoms, for instance for migraine," she said, noting about 2.7 million Canadians suffer from migraines and headaches.

Migraines can be triggered by the weather. (Media for Medical/UIG/Getty)

The app will tell users the risk, from levels one through four, that the weather will worsen their condition if it is weather-sensitive. 

For instance level two may tell users to "be cautious," or "expect minor discomfort." A level four may advise "consider changing plans" or "consider downshifting."

May reveal 'pattern'

Users can increase the accuracy of the index by filling out a detailed questionnaire to determine if they're weather-sensitive and if so, whether it's to temperature, pressure, wind or other factors.

"Then when you go to your GP, you can show him that," she said. "If you see that atmospheric pressure corresponds to the days you have headaches, you can see ...  a pattern coming out." Family doctors could then better target proper medication, Blouin explains. 

The app has been available since late July. For more information, visit the app's website at 

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With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.