NPS updates Medicines List app, receives awards

NPS Medicines List

NPS has added a reminder function to its award-winning Medicines List iPhone app to allow people to schedule prompts to remind them to take their medicine.

As part of the upgrade, users can also record whether they took their medicine on time, and if not, why not.

The app, available for free from iTunes, also allows people to track the brand, active ingredient, strength and dosage of their medicines.

It recently won two awards at the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) federal conference, held in Hobart, as well as an award for Best Medical App at the 2011 Australian Mobile Awards.

NPS clinical adviser Dr Danielle Stowasser said the new scheduling functions will help those who have trouble taking their medicines as recommended.

“With the Medicines List iPhone app upgrade, you can set reminders to help you take the right doses of your medicines at the right time,” Dr Stowasser said.

“All medicines have benefits and risks, and recording information about any possible side effects of your medicine, and whether you are taking your medicine as prescribed, can help your doctor work with you to find the right balance for you.”

Using the Medicines List app, users can set the frequency of how often they should take each medicine from a range of default options, or they can set the times to their own custom preferences.

Reminders will alert users at the appropriate times, which they respond to by selecting whether they took their medicine on time, late or did not take it at all.

“This information captured using the new features in the app creates a record of adherence over time,” Dr Stowasser said.

“For example, you may have missed a dose or several doses because you were nauseous, and by making use of the Medicines List app and recording each time this occurs, your doctor may adjust your medicine or help suggest ways for you to avoid the side effect.”

The NPS Medicines List iPhone app has been downloaded more than 9000 times since its launch in mid 2011. Developed with the assistance of Creative Licence Digital, the app 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.

Dr Stowasser said the app was 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 has also recently launched an online information hub for consumers, to help people with type 2 diabetes be “medicine-wise” about their condition.

Stowasser said the online hub was a comprehensive source of information about type 2 diabetes, including its causes, diagnosis and treatment.

She said the new NPS diabetes hub offers information on the vital role of healthy eating and physical activity, as well as in-depth information on the diabetes medicines available in Australia, how they work and their possible side effects and interactions.”

The type 2 diabetes online hub is the first in a series of information hubs for consumers to be launched on a range of conditions and health topics, including depression, vaccines and respiratory tract infections.

The introduction of the hubs is part of a greater website upgrade project for NPS over the coming year.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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