PHSI Featured Healthcare Apps

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.

 

Micromedex® Drug Information

PHSI re-reviewed the Micromedex App after learning that Micromedex updated their mobile drug information collection to include the Micromedex Drug Reference App and the Micromedex Drug Reference Essentials App, replacing the previous Drug Information App in March 2017. You can read the new review at http://phsirx.com/blog/featured-healthcare-apps/micromedex-mobile-drug-information-collection-application-updates.

The Micromedex Drug Information App provides pharmacists and other healthcare professionals with evidence-based drug information. Micromedex claims to be the world’s most complete and carefully researched clinical decision support system, utilizing a team of more than 90 specialized clinicians who perform in-depth reviews of published medical literature. Micromedex is a product of Truven Health Analytics, Inc., whose goal is to deliver unbiased information, analytic tools, benchmarks, and services to the healthcare industry.

The Drug Information App contains information on over 4,500 drug products, including generic, brand, and combination formulations. The information includes but is not limited to:

  • Drug indications
  • Adult and pediatric dosages
  • Dosage adjustments
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings
  • Drug interactions, moderate and major
  • Adverse effects, common and severe
  • Mechanisms of action
  •  Pharmacokinetics
  • Administration information
  • Monitoring parameters
  • Available formulations
  • Toxicology reports
  • Clinical teaching

The information is easy to navigate and products can be searched by name or therapeutic class. There is also a “What’s New” section which identifies recently added and removed drug products and drug information documents. The app may be slow in opening and crash during the opening process. The app does not enable the user to view common searches or save specific products as favorites.

There is no fee for the app and registration is not necessary. The app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android. iOS 3.0 or later is necessary for Apple products and Android 2.2 or later is necessary for Android products. Updated versions of the app are continuously released. To ensure that users utilize the most current information, the app cannot be accessed unless all updates have been downloaded. In addition to drug information, Micromedex offers apps specifically covering drug interactions, IV compatibility, pediatrics, and neonates for a fee of $9.99 or greater. Micromedex Drug Information is currently the only app offered for free

My Medication Passport Review

The My Medication Passport App (also available as a paper based booklet) serves as a useful tool for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals in their quest to ensure proper management of medications.  Patients can use the App to record information such as: their medical details, medicines they cannot take, current medications, and a history of medication changes.  The App may be downloaded for free on any Android or Apple product (i.e. iPhone, iPad).

The home screen of My Medication Passport has a very simple layout containing all of the featured options in a vertical listing of tiles.  The options include:

  1. My Medical Details → Patient name and date of birth, name and phone # of General Practitioner (GP), emergency contact, and pharmacist
  2. Medicines I cannot take → Medications the patient cannot take along with a reason for each
  3. Medication Aids → Patient specific considerations such as non-safety caps, large fonts, etc.
  4. My Medicines → List of current medications (including maintenance and as needed therapies)
    • Medication Details: date started, name, dosage form, strength, amount, and frequency
  5. Record of Changes → A running log of medication additions, deletions, and regimen changes
  6. Send us feedback → Survey of questions along with a notes section for additional commentary
  7. Settings → Ability to turn on/off the password protection feature

All of the medical information entered into My Medication Passport remains solely on the device containing the App.  Medical records of App users are not stored or collected and the user may erase this information by deleting the App.  At this time, there are no features to allow for information to be extracted from the App and submitted to a healthcare professional in the form of a print out or electronic transmission.  The absence of this feature requires a patient to either read the information to a healthcare provider, or physically grant the access of their device to the provider so that they may copy the information within the App.  Another possible limitation stems from the fact that the App was developed and tested in the United Kingdom (UK).  Thus, some of the terminology such as, GP (general practitioner), next of kin, and NHS # would not be applicable or simply confusing to American users.  Overall, the App serves as a perpetual record of current medical and medication related information.

My Medication Passport empowers patients and caregivers by providing them with a convenient way to track and store current medication and medical contact information.  This information is readily available and easily accessed by patients.  It is important for patient safety that all healthcare providers maintain a copy of these records.

Performing medication reconciliations is a daily task in many healthcare settings.   The process of performing a complete, accurate, and up to date medication reconciliation is often a daunting task with many patients.  However, by implementing My Medication Passport, patients and/or caregivers gain control over their medication records.  These records remain at their disposal and may be communicated to providers of healthcare in a precise and confident manner.  At PHSI, we recognize the utility of this App and believe it will lead to a more accurate and seamless transition of care between healthcare facilities.

 http://www.clahrc-northwestlondon.nihr.ac.uk/research-projects/bespoke-projects/my-medication-passport

Mango Health Review

The Mango Health App is a useful tool for patients to monitor and improve medication adherence through gamification.  The App is available for free on Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The home screen of the App includes 4 main tiles which display the current summaries for these sections:

  1. List of medications the patient has entered
  2. Alerts about potential interactions
  3. Schedule for medication administration
  4. Points the user has earned

The toolbar at the bottom of the page links the patient to the medication history they have entered, and provides an option to add other medications they take, as well as settings, and more options.

The process to add a medication is simple and straightforward since the required information can be found on the corresponding prescription label.  The information needed is the medication name, dosage form, quantity, number of units per dose (i.e., 1 tablet), frequency, and the scheduled dosing times.  As medications are added, patients will receive daily reminders to take their medications at the scheduled times.  Patients then simply have to acknowledge that they took their medications correctly to receive points for their adherence.  Points will accumulate, which can be redeemed for prizes like gift cards.

The free App does not require any personal information.  The user can choose to register to allow access to their data on any device with the Mango Health App installed.  Overall, the App can help patients to remember to take their medications and provide prizes as an incentive to achieve adherence.  PHSI believes that apps like Mango Health will appeal to a segment of the population that relate to gamification and as a result lead them to increased medication adherence.

http://www.mangohealth.com/

Mylan GBR Review

The Mylan Generic-Brand Drug Reference App is a useful tool for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals and is available on Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The home screen of the App includes the choice of Generic-to-Brand Cross-Reference and Brand-to-Generic Cross-Reference.  The two main icons on the home page, as well as two of the three icons on the toolbar at the bottom of the page, provide lists of drugs first sorted according to their generic name linking to the corresponding brand name, then by brand name linking to the corresponding generic name.  The lists contain symbols to identify which drugs are available from Mylan.

A third icon on the toolbar is “Tools” which allows the user to look up the normal laboratory reference values to commonly ordered tests, urine analysis, therapeutic drug monitoring and toxicology, and blood pressure.  There is also a section for medical abbreviations, common systems of weights and measurements, and approximate practical equivalents. 

The free App requires basic log-in information, including the user’s office or practice address, phone number, email, and profession.  Overall, the app is a well organized, convenient, and quick reference guide for the healthcare professional.

iGeriatrics Review

iGeriatrics is a free medical App for the iPhone and iPad sponsored by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS).  iGeriatrics offers various types of information for providers and healthcare professionals.

Features of the App include the 2012 Beers Criteria, a current listing of potentially inappropriate medications in the elderly and drug-disease state interactions with quality of evidence and strength of recommendation data. The Geriatrics Cultural Navigator provides a quick reference to the traditions, health beliefs, and communication with those of a specific cultural background. The GeriPsych Consult aids with management of older adults with psychotic disorders and symptoms. The Guide to Common Immunizations includes the AGS recommendations for necessary immunizations and vaccines needed before traveling. Finally, the Prevention of Falls Guidelines guides the assessment and management of patient fall risks.

All of these features are available in the iGeriatrics App through iTunes, but not yet competing in the Android market. Features are free within the application and can be used to assist healthcare professionals in the above mentioned considerations for our aging population.

EPOCRATES® Review

The Epocrates App can be used as a reliable drug information source. For each drug, it includes dosing for each indication, contraindications, adverse reactions, drug interactions, monitoring parameters, pharmacology, pricing, pill images, and Black Box Warnings where applicable. You have access to news updates, picture quizzes, as well as a formulary list for numerous third party plans. The program also has a selection of tables for each disease category, as well as charts for antibiotic regimens, treatment guidelines, and travel immunizations.

A subscription can be purchased for complete access to the entire Epocrates suite of services. However, non-subscribers can download the free drug information app for around-the-clock access to drug, disease, and lab information.  Also available for free are Epocrates MedTools, the CME Center, and the Mobile Resource Center (offering clinical news and research).

The app is simple to navigate, yet thorough enough to provide information that is relevant. Once you complete the free registration, you can access Epocrates from your computer at http://www.epocrates.com/ or download it to your smartphone by searching in your app browser. Epocrates can be downloaded to any Palm, Android, Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, or iTouch.