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Review: PocketPharmacist App Puts Drug Interactions at Your Fingertips

With more people taking Rx drugs along with OTC, herbal and nutrition supplements, the likelihood of a negative drug interaction is significant.

With the PocketPharmacist App, healthcare providers and patients alike can easily call up a reliable list of possible dangerous interactions from more than 1,500 common medications approved by the USFDA.

The list is unbiased, (i.e., there is no pharmaceutical sponsorship of the content) and it is updated regularly with both new drugs and new information on drugs already indexed in the app.

With more than 1,400 highly rated reviews in the iTunes Store, PocketPharmacist has demonstrated its utility as a drug information resource for busy doctors, nurses and pharmacists as well as caregivers, home health and hospice professionals and individuals advocating for their own medical care.

Utility

When everything he saw on the market was an encyclopedic reference for drugs and drug interactions, pharmacist and app developer Michael Guren wanted something relevant and simple that he could use in clinical practice—from prescriber to pharmacist to patient.

He wanted a useful resource for friends and family members to use for themselves and/or persons for whom they provide care. The PocketPharmacist App surpasses these goals by providing easy-to-use navigation features for adult users.

Within the app, drugs are classified by chemical class or therapeutic indication. Users access each drug’s clinical detail and related information by searching according to generic or brand name. Users can also check inter-drug interactions, and use the app as a medicine reminder using the features listed below.

Additionally, users can create a patient profile, where patient-specific disease and prescription information can be saved.

When typing in the search box, the Auto Complete feature readily suggests the names of drugs while you are typing. All features for each drug are referenced on the same screen. The drug information provided within the app includes:

  • Drug class & indications; available strengths

  • Recommended doses, maximum dose and adjustments in special populations

  • Precautions, major interactions, side effects

  • Online resource links to Wikipedia and NLM Patient Education portal

  • A space holder to add notes 

Med Check is a tool within the app that indicates medication compatibility. It automatically alerts you to potentially life-saving interactions, precautions and side effects for two or more medications.

Med Box is an easy to use use medication organizer and reminder. For multiple patient profiles, Med Box keeps track of medications, allergies, medical conditions, names of doctors and pharmacies. It is great for: 


  • Organizing medication lists, such as those for your clients/patients on hospice, in the care of a home health aid or private duty nurse). Or, for individuals who are providing medication to family members, such as ailing parents, as well as for keeping track of one’s personal medications.

  • Setting alarms/reminders for when to take medications. 


  • Answering the question, "Did I already take/give ________?"


  • Determining compatibility between current, or newly prescribed, medications.

myDrugCostsSM empowers the user to make cost-informed decisions about prescription drugs by indicating the cost of all brands and generic product, if available.

The user interface is efficient, clear and simple. Menus accurately identify the resources found there and many link out to additional resources where the user can learn more. Critical side effects are highlighted in dark yellow so as not to be missed. Doctors can easily add smart notes, which automatically save, on the drug page that is being viewed. Integration with online resources, including text and video, is strongly executed.

Users should familiarize themselves with the main features of the app and pick those most relevant to their purposes.

What’s Could Make the App Better?

The app doesn’t include medications that aren’t USFDA approved, but which are commonly prescribed in other countries. For anyone who travels internationally, this is something to be aware of.

To make the app more intuitive for different types of users, the developer could incorporate a registration feature in which the user completes a profile, e.g., the user is a healthcare provider, patient or caregiver (or multi-user profile). In this way, features that a patient may not need would not be accessible to them.

 

Additional Info

  • Developed by an experienced clinical pharmacist and founder of the parent company Danike Inc.

  • Incorporated links to video tutorials on YouTube regarding use of basic and advance search, MedCheck, MedBox, etc.

  • Most content is available offline, without an internet connection

  • Voted #1 Pharmacy iOS App 2011

  • Several hundred 4.5 Star Ratings over past 2 years

  • Available for iPhone, Android Mobile, Android Tablet

  • $1.99 as of January 2013

Karen M. Rider, M.A. is a freelance writer with special interests in wellness, health psychology, healthcare news and integrative medicine. Karen also writes marketing copy for health and wellness practitioners across a variety of specialties.

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