Health Apps

What’s Covered App

What’s Covered app is the only official Medicare coverage app by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This free app allows the user to understand the items and services covered by Medicare Part A and Part B. Intended users are anyone covered by Medicare for their health care benefits, with the target population being people 65 years and older. Available languages include English and Spanish.

Whats Covered

When first opening the app, users can search for an item or service on the home screen. At the bottom of the home screen, there is an option to browse all items and services built into the app. Preventative services, such as bone mass measurements, diabetes screenings, flu shots and more, are provided to Medicare covered patients at no cost and can be browsed separately.  These services are denoted by an apple icon.

After finding the item or service the user is looking for, a page will appear and show if the item or service is covered by Medicare. Covered items or services will have a large green check mark followed by “covered”, and non-covered items or services will have a large red X followed by “not covered.” For covered items or services, the user can read if it is covered through Part A or B, and who is eligible. After the coverage section, there is an explanation about cost for the item or service, including information about copayments, deductibles or coinsurance. Lastly, there are additional notes about the item or service and where to get more information.

The app does not include information on Medicare Advantage Plans, standalone Medicare Part D plans, other Medicare health plans, or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) coverage. It does not include a CPT code search, exact costs for surgeries or procedures, or local coverage decisions.

The What’s Covered app is currently available for free on both iOS and Android devices through the Apple App Store or Google Play.


Posted: June 2019

Belay App Review

PHSI occasionally shares information on new Apps that may be beneficial to our colleagues and their families.  One such app is Belay, a food allergy management app that allows parents to share their child’s food allergy information with any caregivers their children may encounter, such as teachers, coaches, babysitters, bus drivers, friends, and others. Belay users can download the app for free on IOS devices through the App Store and on Android devices through the Google Play Store.

Parents begin using the app by creating a profile for their child. First, parents provide some basic demographic information about their child and a list of what foods their child has allergies to. If applicable, the parent can also include information about whether their child has experienced an anaphylactic reaction, including what a typical reaction looks like for their child.

Next, parents can add some safe food options for their child ranging from snacks, food cooked at home, and what to order when eating out.

Then, parents can put an emergency plan in place for their child. The emergency plan includes which type of epinephrine auto-injector their child uses, if their child has asthma and/or carries a rescue inhaler, and if their child takes any other medications after injecting epinephrine.  The profile also lists emergency contacts and the contact’s relationship to the child. Parents can even include a picture of the location of their child’s epinephrine auto-injector.

Upon completing their child’s profile, parents can send the profile out to any of the child’s caregivers. Caregivers never have to download the app. Instead, a web link gets sent via SMS text message to the caregiver’s phone. From there, the caregivers can add the child’s profile to their phone’s home screen for quick and convenient access. In addition to the basic information from the child’s profile, caregivers can also view information about how to identify a reaction and when to use epinephrine. The Belay app also provides the caregiver with the child’s stepwise emergency plan and details what the caregiver should do at each step.

If a parent no longer wishes to share their child’s information with a caregiver, the parent can delete that caregiver from their child’s profile on the Belay app. Deleting the caregiver causes the child’s profile to no longer work on the caregiver’s phone, and they will no longer have access to information from the child’s profile.

PHSI believes that if you have a child with food allergies, the Belay app can assist you in managing their food allergies by increasing caregiver awareness of your child’s food allergies. This can help caregivers prevent children from experiencing food allergy reactions in a more effective manner. The Belay app can also assist you in managing your child’s food allergies by helping caregivers provide the necessary treatment if your child does have a reaction.

Posted: February 2019

RealCME App

Medical professionals are required to complete a certain number of Continuing Education (CE) hours. For example, pharmacists in the state of Pennsylvania must complete 30 contact hours of Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)-approved pharmacist continuing education every 2 years. See the diagram below for more details on the PA requirements for pharmacist license renewals.

The ACPE Continuing Education (CE) Requirements for Pennsylvania Pharmacists[i]:

CME App Rx License Requirements

The RealCME App allows health professionals to complete continuing education requirements on-the-go on their mobile devices. RealCME has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as well as the AMA, AAFP, AANP, AAPA, ANCC, AOA, APA, COPE, and other organizations. This app offers free CE lessons certified by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and is available for free on iTunes and Google Play.

The app offers featured topics and segmentation by topic. The chart below includes the topics from which health professionals may choose.

CME App Topics

Users may choose a desired activity, subject matter, and number of credits upon opening the app. The app will take the health professional through a learning module that has responsive quiz questions interspersed to track the progress of learning. Once successfully completed, the user can enter professional credentials to submit and receive CE credit. A certificate of attendance is also received once a session is successfully completed and states the number of CE credits earned.

Other useful tools offered within the mobile app include a “Planner” that allows you to schedule activities that can later be found under the “Planned Activities” as well as a “Tracker” to list all credits and requirements/goals completed. A “Performance” tab allows the user to see information in chart-format such as your scores when compared to the community average in terms of subject areas, your progress towards goals that you have set through the “Tracker”, and program scores for each completed CE course.

The RealCME App provides a convenient medium for earning CE credits on-the-go for healthcare professionals as it is built for mobile and other portable devices. It is a good option for those who do not get much time to sit down at a computer or in a lecture; however, its limitations lie in the number of available programs which range from 1 to 10.


Free on iTunes:



[i] PA Code: Board Regulation Section 27.32(e): Continuing Education:


Micromedex Mobile Drug Information Collection Application Updates

PHSI re-reviewed the Micromedex App after learning that Micromedex has recently updated their mobile drug information collection to include the Micromedex Drug Reference App and the Micromedex Drug Reference Essentials App. These two new additions replaced the previous Drug Information App in March 2017. Users with internet-based subscriptions through an employer or school will be able to log in to that subscription through the Drug Reference App. Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals are still able to access evidence-based drug information without a subscription with the Essentials App. Both apps provide information on over 4,500 drug products. The chart below contains details on what is offered.


Micromedex reports being 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 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. Limitations include the apps do not enable the user to view common searches or save specific products as favorites.

Subscription users are able to log into the app for free with a password. Non-subscription users are able to purchase the Essentials app for $2.99/year. The apps are 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 apps are continuously released. To ensure that users utilize the most current information, the apps cannot be opened 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.

For more information, visit


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:

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 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.


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.

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


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