Medications app aims to make pharma easy for families

A new pharmacy-focused app has been launched on the market aimed at helping parents to manage both the prescription and non-prescription medications of the whole family.

The PharmaEasy app for the iPhone and iPad has been designed as a simple to use app to manage the family's medications.

Designed by Albert Thammavong and his Canberra-based company Mobiletainer, the PharmaEasy app allows users to enter the names of all of the family members and link them with their current medications.

Users can enter medication details such as medication name, expiry date, dosage and cost, and to take a photo of the packet for easy identification. It also features an alert to tell users when they are running low, with the ability to send an email to the pharmacist to order a repeat.

“There are some smarts behind the app,” Mr Thammavong said. “You enter the quantity and how long you have to take it, and it works out where you are up to. When it is two or three days before you run out, it flags it in a red colour and prompts you to renew it.”

Mr Thammavong said the main idea was to help families manage their multiple medications, both prescription and non-prescription. ”It often depends on the seasons – in spring you've got hay fever and allergies, and you can build up a lot of medications in the household, particularly in winter,” he said. “It can be a bit of a nightmare to manage medications for the family, which is where the app comes in.”

The app also features a handy effectiveness graph so users can enter their observations on how well the drugs are working. Mr Thammavong is keen for consumers to use the app in consultation with their pharmacist and their doctor.

“At the moment there is nothing that records the history of effectiveness,” he said. “This gives you your own report so you can talk to the pharmacist about how the medication is going, any improvements, and the pharmacist can give you advice on how to improve or better manage your medication regime.

“If the medication doesn't seem to be working, you can graph that and take it to the doctor and get some different medication, or you can send the graph to the doctor or the chemist.”

Mr Thammavong said the app was not trying to compete with others like Send a Script or the recent announcement that eRx is planning to develop its own app, as his is aimed mainly at consumers for medications management.

He does think it will be of benefit to pharmacists, however. They are not required to install any software or use the app itself, simply be able to accept repeat requests by email, which are sent straight from the app.

“For the system to work, it is best for the users to talk to the pharmacist to say they are using it and you will be getting an email, if that's okay. If they know in advance it's convenient.

“When you are asking for a renewal through the app, you can specify the time that you want to pick it up, so we are trying to make it easy for the parents. There's no rush for the pharmacist either and it helps to manage their workload.”

He has not begun a marketing campaign for the PharmaEasy app as yet, as he is evaluating the response he has received from parents who are currently using it, although he has had early talks with a national chemist chain.

“If you use the app, it is going to create loyalty to that particular chemist and they will keep coming back,” he said.

Mr Thammavong's company is focused on developing apps and mobility solutions for the medical and eHealth sectors, and he is currently investigating ideas on how to harness new technologies like augmented reality for use in the healthcare sector.

“For example, if you walk into a chemist, it will tell you what is on special right away. Basically you hold up the phone inside the store and scan it around, and whatever item is on special on a particular shelf will pop up.

“Chemists want you to come in and buy a product, so if this is going to make it easier for you to buy things, to know where the specials are, it's a win win.”

The app is available from the App Store for $1.99.

Posted in Allied Health

Comments   

# John 2013-06-27 15:33
Just tried this app and it is awesome. Takes the pain away in remembering when my medication is due. Very user friendly and easy to use for an old timer like me.
# Michael 2013-06-27 17:28
When are you developing an Android version of the app, for the majority? ;)

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