Beta Test the flok app: The Role of Community in App Development and Readiness

Beta Test the flok app: The Role of Community in App Development and Readiness

Sarah Chamberlin Sarah Chamberlin
6 minute read

As a comprehensive health tool designed for you by people like you, the flok app unlocks a holistic, data-driven approach to managing your metabolic condition. The app is designed to capture relevant information about your diet, physical activity, mood and symptoms, biometrics, and lab values to create a rich clinical picture of you. This trove of day-to-day information empowers you in the management of your condition, while also equipping you and your metabolic team with the details necessary to craft a more tailored treatment plan.

The potential to completely reimagine treatment and management of inborn errors of protein metabolism starts with you and your engagement with the app. In preparation to launch the flok app to the wider public, we are enlisting help from beta testers to explore the app, provide feedback, identify bugs, and offer suggestions to improve its overall functionality.

The beta release is an essential step in the app development process to optimize the user experience, with the intention of the app becoming an integral part of your daily health management. Whether you’re a user of How Much Phe or are new to our services, we want to do more than build a tool for you; we want to build it with you.  Let’s further explore the role of the beta release, how your active participation shapes app development and contributes to a successful product for our broader community, and what you can expect in the coming months. 

Why Beta Test?

We have spent the last two years carefully designing and constructing an app to both simplify the daily management of your metabolic condition and broaden what you can record to better inform your clinical care. We want this tool to be in optimal form to seamlessly integrate into your daily life –– this means eliminating glitches, enhancing features, and ensuring reliability for all our community members. For this reason, we seek a diverse group of testers with different disorders, ages, and even operating systems. We recognize that a caregiver of an individual with MSUD or PKU using an iPhone will experience the app differently than a teenager with Tyrosinemia sporting an Android. If you apply to be a beta tester, you may not immediately receive an invitation to access the app. We are selecting beta testers with varied conditions and operating systems to assure functionality and compatibility for all users within our diverse community. We will invite more community members to test the app throughout the beta release.

Power in Participation 

Your experience matters. You are the intended user of the flok app and your engagement as a beta tester allows you to provide direct feedback to improve, enhance, and shape the flok app to best suit your needs. Looking for an easy shortcut in the flok EAT section to log a food item you consume daily? Can’t find your daily medication in the flok FEEL section? Tell us. We welcome and value your insights. New app features will be announced throughout the beta release, and your early feedback may be implemented and included in subsequent features. As an organization invested in improving your daily life with a metabolic condition, the flok team will consume feedback and incorporate suggestions wherever possible. This will be an iterative process both during the beta release and into the future as we hone a tool as dynamic as its users. 

Protection of Your Personal Data 

Safeguarding your personal information within the flok app is a top priority. While beta testers engage with the app and explore its user interface, developers will work behind-the-scenes to ensure readiness of a suite of services that orchestrate app functions. These include data storage and management, report production, and the security measures that support these services. flok as an organization will continue to ensure robust security configurations are in place to protect you and your personal information.  Data from app usage during the beta period will not be part of any future research. The Beta releases will only be used to ensure application and service readiness.

Taking Flight: From Beta Test to flok app Launch 

As flok integrates your feedback to optimize the user experience, the beta release may undergo testing for several months. flok users enrolled in beta will receive ongoing communications about new feature releases and updates. Users of How Much Phe will have continued access to that resource after the flok app launches and will receive ample notice to make a smooth transition to the flok app. 

Interested? Here's How it Works 

Apply to become a beta tester. You will complete a brief form and receive a follow-up email from the flok team once selected to participate in the beta release. Communications will include step-by-step instructions for downloading the app on your smart phone

  • Create a profile on the flok app and update personal information
  • Use the app daily to create a food log, track mood and activity, upload clinical information, connect and play with other flok community members, and explore features at your leisure
  • Provide feedback including detection of bugs and suggested improvements for app usability
  • Follow occasional prescriptive prompts from the flok development team on specific functions to test 
  • Complete periodic questionnaires to better capture your experience and support back-end improvements 

Beta testing the flok app has several perks. You have a voice in the improvement and enhancement of an app designed specifically for you as an individual with a metabolic condition. You can experience the full set of app features from the premium membership* before they are made available to the broader public. Most importantly, you become a contributor in the development of a tool with potential to reshape the research, management, and treatment of metabolic disorders for the entire community. Support your flok by signing up as a beta tester as we prepare for flok app takeoff. 

*The flok app will be free to download and use. After app launch, a portion of the food database will be part of our paid membership program. By joining, you help support flok and advance the science of nutrition through initiatives like our amino acid analysis program. We will provide more information about the benefits of membership in future communications. 

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