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January 31. 2012 3:17PM

Ronald Yap designs an app to track prostate health


Ronald Yap 

Ronald Yap, M.D., 37

Home: Concord
Birthplace: Catonsville, Md.
Family: loving wife, Anne; five wonderful children, Eric, Laura, Alan, Teddy, and Rhys; and great parents Johnny and Evelyn
High school: Loyola Blakefield - Towson, MD 1992
College/post-grad degrees: Johns Hopkins University, B.A. in biology, 1996; Yale Medical School, M.D., 2000; Northwestern University, postgraduate urology training, 2006; University of Massachusetts at Amherst, M.B.A., expected 2013
Current job: Urologist, director of the Male Urologic Health Program, Concord Hospital. Other positions: adjunct assistant professor of surgery (urology), Dartmouth Medical School; incoming finance committee chair, Concord Hospital Medical Group; director, Urologic Graduate Medical Education, Concord Hospital
Volunteer activities: Creating free health apps for the general public; man-to-man prostate cancer support group; male urologic health speaker for community and healthcare groups
Most admired person (outside your family): Steve Jobs. He had amazing visions and executed them with an eye for perfection and impeccable style.
Key current professional challenge: To be the best I can be at work while also being the best father and husband I can be at home
Last major achievement: Created “Prostate Pal” and “Bladder Pal” apps for Apple and Android devices. They empower people to track their urologic health and improve doctor/patient communication. “Prostate Pal” was named a “New and Noteworthy” medical app on the Apple App store and the subject of an article by the Associated Press. Thousands of users from over 65 countries have used the apps.
Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: How to effectively deliver health care in an increasingly tenuous economic climate for health care providers and institutions in our state.
Favorite place in New Hampshire: Diana's Bath, North Conway
What book are you reading now? “Shortcuts to Inner Peace” by Ashley Davis Bush
How do you relax? Playing with my kids, working out
What websites do you visit most often? customized iGoogle page, Flipbook, Bloomberg, and NPR apps
Favorite TV show, radio station or musical artist: TV - NFL football, ESPN; music - Disco and Funk

CONCORD - Ron Yap jokingly says he was not looking to come up with the next Angry Birds app when he designed Prostate Pal.

For one, the app is free to download. And, two, it isn't a game. Far from it.

Prostate Pal and Bladder Pal are mobile apps designed to help people track their prostate and bladder health along with their health care provider.

“The bottom line is there are a lot of people in apps trying to make a buck off it. It's been a gold rush,” Yap said. “I've taken a different tact.”

Yap may be technologically savvy, but he's got more at stake in this venture than designing mobile technology.

Dr. Ronald Yap, 37, is the director of the male urologic health program at Concord Hospital and an adjunct assistant professor of surgery at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The apps are just another way he's helping people stay healthy.

Yap specializes in laser prostate surgery and is a volunteer for the Man to Man Prostate Cancer Support Group. He said he developed Prostate Pal and Bladder Pal, which were first available for free on the iTunes App Stores, as a way to help facilitate doctor-patient relationships to better monitor prostate and bladder health.

Apple recognized The Prostate Pal, which Yap developed on his own time, as a new and noteworthy medical app when it was recently released. An android version has also been released.

“Medicine tends to lag behind the rest of the world in terms of technology,” Yap said. “These (apps) seem like the next level in mobile technology.”

Yap, who says Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is the man he most admires, found support and funding for his project from a patient, Dean LeBaron of New London, who worked through the Concord Hospital Trust.

Yap said close to 3,000 people have downloaded the apps. And, while the majority of those people are from the United States, the apps have been downloaded in 65 countries.

Yap, who lives in Concord, believes the use of mobile technology will allow for better doctor-patient relationships and help cut the cost of health care.

“This is just the start of it,” Yap said. “This is really just the first stage.”


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