iMIMS drug reference application released for Apple iPhone

iMIMS for iOS

MIMS has released a version of its ubiquitous drug reference product for the iPhone and other devices running Apple’s iOS, including the iPad and iPod Touch.

The product is built around a drug reference database containing over 5500 products contextualised specifically for the Australian healthcare sector. As with other MIMS products, iMIMS brings together comprehensive Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) product information, in addition to the more user friendly ‘abbreviated’ product information, which includes Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) information where applicable.

A fully referenced evidenced-based drug interaction checker is also included in the app, allowing users to generate a list of drugs by tapping on a button displayed at the top of a product information screen. The app then examines each drug pair in the list and reports any potential adverse effects as determined by checks made against primary literature sources.

The third tab in the application launches a pill identifier, which contains a database of over 2500 images. If presented with a medication, the user can attempt to identify it by querying based on its shape, colour, form, therapeutic class, in addition to other search criteria.

Due to the time it takes to have app updates approved by Apple prior to them being released on its App Store, the iMIMS app has been developed in such a way that it allows any new or updated drug information to be downloaded from within the application, without the app itself needing to be updated. This process occurs in the background when the user launches the program. However due to the potential size of such downloads (40MB to 70MB typically )and the wide variance in speeds users are able to achieve when downloading data over cellular networks, the application gives the user the option to defer drug data updates until the next time the device establishes a WiFi network connection.

In addition to the new iMIMS app for Apple iOS devices, MIMS also retails a product called MIMS Mobile. Launched in 2009, this solution was developed to work from within the browser of any modern mobile device, including smartphones running Android and Windows Mobile. Being a web-based solution, MIMS Mobile is compatible with a wide array of devices, however an active Internet connection is required. As iMIMS stores drug data on the iOS device itself, it does not suffer this limitation and can work even when the phone has no mobile reception.

MIMS has indicated it is monitoring the uptake of other mobile platforms including Android and Windows Mobile 7. The company however, has not yet committed to developing purpose built applications for these platforms at this point in time.

The iMIMS application is free to download and trial for seven days, however after this time the user is required to purchase a subscription to maintain full access to the application. Subscriptions are $159 per year, plus an additional $15 per year to unlock the pill identifer, which is sold as an optional module.

As with all iOS apps, iMIMS is available for download from the Apple App Store, which can be accessed using iTunes on a computer running Microsoft Windows or MacOS X, or directly from an iOS device.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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