PHSI Featured Healthcare Apps

Drug Manufacturer GSK Partners with SmartQuit Smoking Cessation App

As technology continues to improve, many companies are starting to use new tools to give unique patient support. The SmartQuit App, designed by 2morrow Inc., helps patients learn more about their own smoking habits and begin the process of quitting. SmartQuit is the first smoking cessation App proven effective in a clinical trial.  SmartQuit utilizes an Acceptance and Commitment approach and helps patients create a personal quit plan.  The App delivers an 8-day program that is completed prior to the patient’s quit date and then provides them with up to 6 months of additional support.  Patients will be prompted to provide their stress level, time it takes to smoke a cigarette, triggers, concerns about quitting, number of cigarettes smoked daily, price per pack, as well as other information that helps the App tailor suggestions for the patient.  The App works by allowing patients to identify their urge to smoke without acting on it. This adds a mechanism to hold patients accountable while offering an additional support system.

A lite version is free in the App store.  The full program is paid for by some employers, states, and health plans and is available for iPhone, Android, and Windows operating systems.

Several employers have implemented a system where employees who smoke and use the SmartQuit App can receive free starter packs of Nicoderm CQ patches.  Pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is providing patches to smokers who have completed 2morrow’s SmartQuit App plan.  Although nicotine replacement therapies are over-the-counter, many insurance plans have programs to help pay for these products through their prescription drug benefit. These programs along with personalized tools like the SmartQuit App give patients more options in smoking cessation resources which increases the likelihood of a successful quit attempt. Mobile technology has become an instrumental part of healthcare. It is not surprising that drug manufacturers like GSK are partnering with App developers to reach patients.

More information on the App can be found at http://www.2morrowinc.com/smartquit/

PulsePoint App

PulsePoint Respond app allows citizens trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to locate and assist nearby victims of a cardiac emergency. It alerts CPR-trained users when someone nearby requires CPR, providing the locations of the victim and closest public access Automated External Defibrillator (AED). PulsePoint Respond currently covers hundreds of cities by partnering with local fire departments or emergency response agencies.

PulsePoint Respond is intended for anyone willing to report a person in need of CPR, and people who are CPR-trained. PulsePoint Respond is maintained through the PulsePoint Foundation, and is free to anyone who wishes to download it. The PulsePoint Foundation also offers PulsePoint AED, which is a comprehensive registry of AEDs available for emergency use. By downloading the PulsePoint AED app, users can report AED locations to help local responders and citizens utilizing the PulsePoint Respond app.

Upon download, the app allows a user to follow local emergency response agencies. Following the agencies will provide a newsfeed on current emergency events and what responses have been already taken. There is also educational information on CPR, AED use, and unit identifiers for dispatch statuses available on the app.

A limitation associated with this app is the delayed uptake by local agencies. There has been some delay in establishing coverage, and the PulsePoint Foundation is placing responsibility upon users to approach local authorities for initiation into new areas. Local agencies may be wary of non-professionals intervening in emergency situations where they are not trained for when a professional is on the way to the scene. On the other hand, PulsePoint Respond is addressing a legitimate need, as heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Most pharmacists are trained in CPR, and all pharmacists act in a manner to improve patient lives. That being said, this app provides an opportunity for pharmacists to further extend their knowledge and training for the betterment of the surrounding community.

PulsePoint Respond and PulsePoint AED are currently available for both iOS and Android systems.

More information on both apps can be found at: http://www.pulsepoint.org/

PillFill App

PillFill is a medication management app that can pull healthcare information from a variety of sources and store it in one convenient location on the user’s phone. Prescription medication information can be collected from any pharmacy that supports online medication histories. These include major chains such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Target. The app can also pull medication history from Express Scripts and Caremark. If a user has a prescription that is not found on any of these accounts, it can be easily added to the profile manually with the use of a barcode scanning tool within the app.

The app is intended for anyone looking to organize and manage their medication regimen. It would be particularly useful to patients with chronic disease, who are likely taking multiple medications and utilizing multiple doctors and pharmacies. This app may also be a good tool to improve medication adherence, as the user is able to set reminders about refills and daily doses.

Once the medication profile is complete, the user can select any one of their medications to view contact information about the prescribing doctor or the dispensing pharmacy. Manufacturer information regarding the product is also accessible through the medication profile. The user has the ability to check for any drug interactions with an OTC product by simply scanning the UPC code found on the package. Safety notifications such as drug interactions, duplicate medications, and duplicate mechanisms of action are sent out to the user. While this is a useful tool, there are potential drawbacks. It is easy to envision a scenario in which a patient, on a complex medication regimen that may be flagged for such interactions, abruptly stops taking their medication upon receiving a warning without first consulting a doctor or pharmacist. Fortunately, there are disclaimers stating to contact a doctor or pharmacist, and this was likely one of the reasons developers included contact information for a user’s care team. Having said that, the possibility of the above scenario is not enough to recommend against using the app. PHSI believes that if the user is able to realize that the app cannot replace real world expertise available through doctors and pharmacists, it should be a helpful tool for anyone wanting to have a more active role in their health care and in the management of their medications.

PillFill is free to use and compatible with Android or iOS devices.

Update: The PillFill website is no longer available so the link has been removed.  Visit the iOS App Store or Google Play Store for more information on the PillFill App.

Glooko

Glooko is a cloud-based mobile system incorporating an app to allow for data from blood glucose meters, fitness monitors, and manual input to be evaluated in a single program. The system has been FDA 510(k) cleared and is HIPAA compliant, but is not yet available for purchase. Once marketed, the system will be available for patients, providers, payers, and caregivers to use in diabetes control. The cloud-based system, MeterSync Blue, connects compatible blood glucose meters to mobile devices. The Glooko system was designed to be compatible with over 30 different glucose and fitness monitors.

Some features of the app include:

  1. Compatible with Apple and Android products
  2. Remote monitoring of activity level, weight, blood pressure, glucose, etc.
  3. Food/ carbohydrate counting and exercise input
  4. Insulin and medication tracking
  5. Compatible with Accu-Check, Free-style, One-touch, and more

Patient Use: Gives patients with diabetes the ability to sync glucose tracking to a mobile device, add fitness tracker data, input food/carbohydrate intake and medication, and share reports of data with physicians.

Provider Use: Allows providers remote monitoring of patient’s disease state, medication compliance, glucose levels and lifestyle data in order to make interventions. This helps promote improved patient-provider communication.

Payer Use: Presents risk stratified diabetes data and analytics to target earlier treatment in members with diabetes control out of range.

Glooko and the MeterSync system allow for better access to patient disease state information, potentially improving disease state management and adherence. A pilot of this system was done at the Boston Joslin DM Center and showed improvements in diabetes management, specifically hypoglycemia. PHSI believes the integration of FDA approved devices such as Glooko will augment prescription medication usage and help support healthy activities leading to improved patient outcomes. Once marketed, Glooko can allow for better engagement of the healthcare team to improve diabetes control.

https://glooko.com

RxOrange

PHSI was introduced to the RxOrange App through a comment on another post about brand drug patents and generic launch. RxOrange provides details from the FDA Orange Book in the convenience of a mobile app. The App is available for purchase ($3.99) on Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The home screen of the App starts on a drug search and scroll screen. Any drug in the FDA Orange Book is available. When you find the drug, selecting it displays the drug, manufacturer, and any pharmaceutically equivalent product (both brands and generics). You can continue to drill down to find the strengths and dosage forms, route of administration, therapeutic equivalence code, the approval date, and some information about patents and exclusivity. This information is based on a data file from the FDA that is updated monthly.

The bottom of the screen always offers 5 areas to find information.

1. Drug Search (where you start and find what was described above)
2. Patent Expiration (a list by date of potential brand drug patent expirations when generics may be expected)
3. FDA Approvals (a list by date of FDA approvals that can be searched, or filtered to display only brands or generics)
4. Special Topics (a handful of drugs where substitution or drug classification may be difficult to determine)
5. Info (general info about the App and the supporting sources)

Once you download RxOrange, you do not need an internet connection to access the data because it is stored on your device (19.2mb installed size). You will need an internet connection to update the device with new data. This App is dependent on data from the FDA so new generics and new brands will not be in the App until the next monthly update. There are also some products that are not included in the FDA Orange Book (i.e. Enbrel, Humira) that will not be included in the App. RxOrange does not contain drug information such as side effects, dosing, or drug interactions. PHSI believes that if you find yourself regularly utilizing the FDA Orange Book to find therapeutic equivalence, drugs and their manufacturers, and potential new generics, RxOrange would benefit you with portability of this data.

http://www.badgerxsoftware.com/

Glucose Buddy App Review

The Glucose Buddy App is a data storage utility developed by Azumio Inc. for diabetic patients. This app is available for free on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch product with iOS 4.0 or later, as well as all Android devices. This mobile app easily keeps track of the blood glucose readings that are manually recorded from the user’s glucose monitor. It even allows users the option to enter productive notes such as “blood sugar elevated because of high carb lunch” so that their personal health record is more complete.

This diabetic app also gives users the option to record the name and dose of their medications, along with the corresponding time they were taken each day. Once a drug/dosage combination is entered, it is saved so that users must only select the medication from their list of previously entered products. Additional free features provided by this app include daily food, activity, and HbA1c logs, as well as charts that compare weekly and monthly log recordings. Another helpful feature is the ability of the app to send out push notifications in order to provide users with reminders and alarms when it is time for blood glucose testing and/or medication administration. A more advanced “Pro” version of this app is available for purchase at $6.99, which includes additional log options for blood pressure and weight and eliminates in-app advertisements.

Glucose Buddy is an easy-to-use journal app specially individualized with each patient’s diabetic history. Users have the ability to print out their log results to bring with them to their doctor’s office by syncing the logs to their account and then accessing them online. One drawback is that the app relies heavily on the patient to record this data accurately, so failure to do so will result in incomplete data sets. To get started, simply download the app and then go online to create your free account. For more information on this app, please visit www.glucosebuddy.com.

 

Vaccines on the Go App Review

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has released an app called “Vaccines on the Go: What You Should Know” to help parents have quick access to reliable information about vaccinations and the diseases they prevent. Not only does it go into detail about the vaccines, vaccine side effects, diseases, contagiousness of the disease, and timeline of the disease, but it contains a section dedicated to talking about vaccination safety. The vaccination safety section addresses concerns about vaccines such as risk of autism, vaccine components like thimerosal, and egg allergies. The app has videos that discuss the information found within the app, which may be helpful for those parents who have a low health literacy.

The app contains a vaccine schedule for children, teens and adults. For parents worried about the number of vaccines their child is receiving, there’s a section answering those questions. This app would be a great recommendation by the pharmacist or physician to parents who just had their first child, or had questions or concerns about vaccinations. If parents still had questions after using this app, there’s functionality to make a note to bring up to their doctor and the ability to email the Vaccine Education Center with questions.

Vaccines on the Go is full of valuable information, but there are a few limitations of the app. While the app provides a vaccine schedule, it does not provide a place for parents to record the administration date of a vaccine, which might be more useful to parents later on in their child’s life, as many parents lose immunization cards or fail to keep those records accessible.

This app is free for both Apple and Android devices. More information is available on the app’s website at http://www.chop.edu/service/parents-possessing-accessing-communicating-knowledge-about-vaccines/vaccine-mobile-app.html.

 

GetMyRx App Review

GetMyRx is a prescription delivery service application that is available for mobile Apple devices. This new App allows retail pharmacy customers to scan and send a new prescription or refill into a local pharmacy and then get their prescription delivered within 4 hours. The App is easy to use, utilizing a step-wise approach for patients to enter necessary information. The App is able to scan the user’s insurance card and the new prescription or refill label using an in-app camera feature. The written prescription must be surrendered to the pharmacy upon delivery of the medication. Then, all the user has to do is enter their patient information, their doctor’s name, and a delivery address, and the pharmacy will do the rest. The delivering pharmacy takes care of transferring the prescription (if necessary) and calling the user to confirm the order and obtain the user’s credit card information. The App is free to download and the delivering pharmacy cannot charge a delivery fee, so the prescription will cost the exact amount it would cost in-store. GetMyRx charges pharmacies a software licensing fee for using its proprietary technology platform.

Currently, this service is only available in the Miami, Florida area, but developers are looking to expand to New York and San Francisco soon. Expansion of the availability of this App will largely depend on state law. In certain states, pharmacies cannot fill prescriptions unless they have the original prescription or the prescription was electronically sent by an authorized practitioner, so the prescription scan option would not be available in those states. Another drawback is that the user cannot choose which pharmacy to get the new prescription from, the App automatically matches the user to the nearest pharmacy using the service. Pharmacies interested in being a part of the GetMyRx network can email the company at info@getmyrx.com. More information about the GetMyRx App is available at http://www.getmyrx.com.

Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout App Review

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout is a free mobile App by Wellness & Prevention, Inc., a division of Johnson & Johnson. It is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices. This App is based on research by the American College of Sports Medicine that suggests a 7 minute, high intensity interval training (HIIT) session can be as effective as longer workouts to build muscle, lose weight and improve cardiovascular health.

The App includes the “7 minute workout”, a workout routine that only requires the user, a chair, and a wall. In the 7 minute workout, the user will perform 12 exercises for 30 seconds each with a 5-10 second break in between each exercise. Exercises include jumping jacks, abdominal crunches, pushups and many others that require minimal to no equipment. The App also includes two additional ways to work out: the “smart workout” is a customized workout based on age and other factors, and the “Workout library” which contains 36 exercises and 12 additional workouts that can be customized by the user. This customization of workouts allows for over 1,000 variations.

The user is able to customize and build their ultimate workout by liking or disliking exercises on the screen during a workout and the App will remember which exercises they do not like. The user is able to set reminders and share their results and accomplishments with friends on social media, to help keep motivated on their fitness goals.

The 7 minute workout is a visual app that can provide a variety of exercises for a quick workout for our time-starved population. This may be an ideal workout while on a business trip. The exercises are straightforward and easy to perform. If you are interested in the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App, you can obtain more information and download it for free at https://7minuteworkout.jnj.com.

 

Medscape Mobile

The WebMD, LLC sponsored “Medscape Mobile” App provides many benefits to health care professionals. This App is available for free on Android, iPhone/iPad and Kindle Fire operating systems. Users must register under their career title to receive material pertaining specifically to their profession. For instance, a diabetes-endocrine pharmacy specialist could receive only diabetes and endocrine news and access to their own personalized list of searched drugs. The pharmacist can also participate by leaving input to any article or save and share the articles to colleagues or social networks. Users can access thousands of evidence-based articles and information on over 8,000 brand and generic drugs, OTCs, and herbals.

One of the many useful features in the App is the access to over 100 specialty medical calculators. An example is the TIMI score calculator for ST elevation in acute MI patients to help determine drug therapy.

Overview of point-of-care tools accessible via the Medscape Mobile App include:

  • Medical News
  • Drug Reference
  • Disease Reference
  • Drug Interaction Checker
  • Formulary Information
  • Medical Calculators
  • Offline access to all tools listed above

The Medscape Mobile App also provides CE credits in 32 specialty areas and enables the user to save activities and track credits earned. Additional tools include a health care facility search to find pharmacies, physician’s offices, and hospitals in the user’s area and formulary information for prescription drugs.

This App serves as a multidisciplinary unit for a medical team in need of quick access to point-of-care features, guidelines, and what’s covered on patients’ formularies. One drawback is the 8.1 MB size, larger than some medical apps, and could pose a problem if the user’s device has limited memory. More information can be found at http://www.medscape.com/public/mobileapp.