Tangled and Mangled: How Huddle Health Helped Salvage a Bike Ride Gone Wrong

I’ve been waiting for something like Huddle for a long time. For most of my adult life, I’ve digitized every receipt, eyeglasses prescription, and piece of paper I thought I might need to reference in the future. Because I had access to a camera and a hard drive, it was relatively easy to do so. And my habit has paid off, time and time again.
 How much did I pay for contact lenses in 2014? What was the name of the orthopedist who helped me with my shoulder in 2009? I’ve always been able to locate these bits of information. I even store records like the exact type of sprockets I put on my mountain bike last summer so I can order the same model the next time I need one. Why? Because it’s important to me to have the information I want when and where I need it.
To some, this may sound like the digital version of hoarding, but I take pride in my massive library of events, perfectly labeled by year, month, and date. Anyone who values the compounding return on investment in organizing “stuff when it happens” will agree. My record library isn’t just a beautiful array of MacOS blue folders dating back to the early 2000s. It’s a reference tool and an extension of my memory.
But for all its merits, my record-keeping system has a few significant flaws, like not having a good search system, or an easy-to-use mobile method to reference the files stored on my desktop (despite trying several cloud file-sharing services), or great sharing abilities— especially for medical records.
Fortunately, I discovered Huddle Health.
Full disclaimer: I started using the app after joining Huddle’s development team as a Product Designer. Because, in my experience, the only way to make a good product is to “eat your own dog food,” or in other words, use it yourself. Since then, I have used Huddle to organize all my health records. Initially, my records were comprised of a Z-pak and a walk-in clinic copay.
I didn’t add much more until October 2020, when I was halfway into my daily bike ride, and a distracted motorist hit me. I rolled over the car’s hood like a bowling ball and landed several feet away. Fortunately, I didn’t suffer any major injuries.  
After checking that all my limbs were still attached, I thought I should document the incident by taking photos of where I landed, where my bike was, the damage it suffered, and my cuts and bruises. Eventually, the police arrived, and the motorist was issued a citation. I received a notice with the report number and a business card from a witness who had seen the crash and was willing to help with a statement should I need one.
I was pretty shaken up but not injured enough to require an ambulance. After dealing with the motorist, the police, insurance companies, and my lawyer, I sat on the curb next to what was left of my bike and pulled out my phone. I launched Huddle and started to add all the evidence I had captured at the accident. I associated all the items to a list called “2020-10 accident.”
The next day, I visited a clinic to get X-rays. From the copay to the X-rays to the doctor’s report and referral to a specialist—all went into my Huddle Timeline. These records and those from subsequent orthopedist visits were routed to an insurance company for reimbursement, shared with other providers, and sent to my attorney.
I was even able to assemble single PDFs from multiple files requested by a given party and securely share them by sending a web link (that I was later able to expire). The convenience of keeping the information in Huddle allowed me to quickly provide answers to the group of folks handling my case.
It comes naturally to me to document situations to that degree. Although I could have simply sent photos stored in my camera roll, properly organizing items with notes, dates, and searchable terms around each entry gave me a sense of empowerment, which allowed me to move on and recover from this entire episode. I have not stopped adding nearly every possible type of medical record into my Huddle app, including my COVID-19 vaccination records and recent eye exams. I have even added separate profiles for my pets and logged their vet records, visits, and shots.
I hang onto my old, massive archive for non-healthcare-related items. Yet, when it comes to storing organized healthcare information that’s securely encrypted in my pocket, Huddle is the superior tool. As a user and part of the Huddle team, I can tell you Huddle will only get better and easier to use—not just for natural organizers like me, but for anyone with a smartphone who is trying to find their way in our complicated healthcare system.
 Give Huddle a go and let us know what you think. 
Miguel Elasmar,
Senior Product Designer


Scan with your phone’s camera to download Huddle Health!