Why build butterfly?

My wife has suffered Hypothyroidism for many years, but its only over the past 12 months that we really understood that. It’s difficult to get the right treatment in the UK, but we’ve been very lucky to have spent time with Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield, who has helped enormously.

But therein lies the problem. In order to design the correct regime for my wife to follow, Dr Peatfield needs a wealth of data. Both my wife and I have struggled with keeping track of various paper diaries, private tests, medication schedules and symptom tracking. At times of great stress, and when the brain fog descends, its the last thing we need. It’s ironic that the time she should be most diligent in recording information also happens to be when my wife is least capable of doing so.

I work in the financial services industry as a User Experience Architect, so it struck me that perhaps there was a way to use technology to solve these problems. Apple’s new Health app and the emergence of devices that communicate via HealthKit, such as the excellent Kinsa Thermometer and Qardio Blood Pressure monitor, mean that its now possible to record vital signs, manage medication and note symptoms on your iPhone. What’s missing is a way to bring all of those things together in one simple, intuitive app, and so the idea for Butterfly was born.

Many of Butterfly’s features have been included as a result of problems that my wife and I have experienced over the last year. For instance, we designed a printed worksheet which allowed her to keep track of what meds to take and when, but that became quite challenging to use once my wife had a few ‘down’ days and was late taking some of them. What we needed was an easy way to re-schedule the taking of subsequent meds, so that became one of the priority features for Butterfly.

We had another worksheet to record symptoms, but there were so many of them to track it became too unwieldy, and was difficult to complete. What we needed was a way to choose which symptoms to make a note of, and a simple way of rating the severity, so that became another priority feature.

And then, of course, we had the problem of communicating all of this information with Mr Peatfield. Some times we gave him far too much information to digest, and other times we just didn’t provide enough. I suspect that the format of the reports we sent didn’t help either. So, Butterfly has been designed to easily share data, charts and customisable reports in a variety of ways.

Butterfly has quickly become a labour of love for me, and I’m really excited to see what happens  now she’s started to flap her wings. It’ll be some time yet before Butterfly hits the app store, but with the help of the various thyroid support communities and fora around the world, I’m hoping I’ll be able to launch something that is truly useful for you all.

Wish me luck!


  1. Karina

    Thanks Mike… sounds very promising. Will it be translated into danish.? I would love to help translate it


  2. Dawn

    I can’t wait till this hits the App Store. What a great husband you are.

    I’m going to show your website to my Dr.

  3. Jo

    Looks amazing! Really looking forward to the completion of the iPhone app.

  4. Michelle Greene

    Sounds great…and with my brain fog will be great to keep track of symptoms for reviews with Docs. How do we register so we know when it comes out???

    1. Mike Linskey

      Hi Michelle. You can sign up here

  5. Denise

    Great, just what us hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue sufferers need. I have a pill reminder on my phone already, a seperate paper chart for basal temps, another for blood pressure, weight etc., I will be really good to have all that information in one place on my phone.
    It may also be that the increased awareness of hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue will force doctors to reassess the medical procedures (rubbish THS tests) and medication (rubbish synthetic T4) so that hypo patients can be treated properly.

  6. Sam

    I can’t wait for this app I really struggle with remembering to taking my meds. Well done!!

  7. Teresa

    Will you be formatting the system for Android phones too?
    I’m awaiting an appointment with an endrichronologist, after lengthy blood tests, and have been saying that I have thyroid issues for years. Hope I get to hear soon

    1. Mike Linskey

      Hi Teresa. I hope your appointment goes well and you find the answer. Here’s a blog post explaining the situation regarding Android:

  8. Sylvia

    It sounds fab just what we need but is it’s only for iPhones ?

    1. Mike Linskey

      Hi Sylvia
      Thanks for your support. Here’s a blog post explaining the situation regarding Android:

  9. Tina Atkinson

    Omg I just stumbled on your site I’ve been on thyroid tablets for a year now and nothing has changed I’m interested that everyone seems to be keeping diaries etc my doc basically put me on tablets and sent me packing. Brain fog that’s me weight gain even though I’m at the gym 4 times a week any help to understand this would be fantastic

    1. Terry

      That’s is what happened to me, do a blood test once a year, alter dose up or down and that is it. Not interested in how I feel just say that’s the right dose

  10. Paula McKinnon

    This sounds great. Well done you. Am very interested. I feel my doctors dont care. Am going to sign up.

    Good Luck


  11. Alison Bushrod

    Brilliant idea . I have one chart which includes blood tests, medication changes, mood, brain function, other symptoms etc.
    Will the app be suitable for iPad please ?
    I too used to see Dr Peatfield many years ago when he used to do a clinic in Penzance. He no longer comes down here, but I do have a very good G P and Endocrinologist locally.
    I was diagnosed 25 years ago and had 10 years ( in Oxfordshire) of not being able to function beyond 8:30 pm !!
    Since seeing a wonderful consultant – Dr Gordon Skinner ( in Birmingham) I was put on the right road back to almost normality.
    Had a blip last year when Thyroid nodule was diagnosed. Took months to get medication corrected. Much better now. Apologies for the rant !!

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