NPS releases Medicine List app for iPhone

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) has released ‘Medicine List’, an app that allows users to maintain a medications list on their iPhone or other iOS device.

The application, developed with the assistance of Creative Licence Digital, allows users to track the brand, active ingredients, strength and dosage of their medicines, including prescription, over the counter and complementary medicines. As well as capturing textual information, the app allows the user to take photos of each medication’s packaging, dispensing label, and the medication itself, with these photos categorised in separate fields within each medication’s record.

Medicine List prompts the user to enter their key demographics into the interface, which also contains fields for allergies, emergency contact details and their usual GP and pharmacist. A list of predefined questions ‘to ask your health professional’ is included alongside these demographics, featuring common queries such as “Why do I need to take this medicine?”; When should I take my medication and for how long?”; and “What do I do if I miss a dose?”. A free-text field also allows the patient to make a note of any other questions they may wish to ask their healthcare professional.

Once the medications list has been compiled within the app, the user can email it as PDF to themselves for printing, or directly to a practice or pharmacy, if indeed the healthcare organisation welcomes this type of correspondence. The PDF medications list includes the patient’s name, emergency contact, the creation date of the list, allergies, and the questions the patient made a note of to ask their healthcare professional.

In addition to keeping a list of current medications, Medicine List maintains a ‘change log’ that automatically updates itself as the user adds and removes medications from their current medications list. As with the medications list, this change log can be emailed for review on a desktop computer by either the user, their carer, or a health professional.

The NPS believes the Medicine List app will be of benefit to a range of patients, not just the technologically savvy.

“The major benefit will be for those who take many medicines and need to keep that information to tell their healthcare providers, so they don’t have to remember all of those long, hard to pronounce names, or those who don’t take medicines regularly and don’t remember to take them,” says NPS Clinical Adviser, Dr Danielle Stowasser.

“It’s designed to be intuitive and easy to use. It’s suitable for people who are younger, or older, or if you’re a carer for someone. So it’s suitable regardless of whether you are a new iPhone user or an old pro.”

NPS indicated it has plans to extend the Medicine List app to include an alarm designed as a medication reminder system. Users will have the choice to tailor both weekday and weekend alarms to their needs. Further into the future, the organisation intends to link the application with the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT) as well as other information resources.

“Next year we’re doing an antibiotics program specifically with all of the commonly used antibiotics pre-loaded. The patient or consumer will get to select their medicine, and it will tell them other important information about their medicines, and link to websites with that information,” said Dr Stowasser.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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