A pharmacy professor in Mercer University’s College of Pharmacy has developed what is believed to be the first mobile application to provide customized drug information on demand to both patients and health care providers alike, called InPharmD.

See a Hangout done by John Bennett MD, Editor of InternetMedicine.com, and Ashish Advani, Pharmacology Professor at Mercer University, as Ashish describes the application and its clinical uses

(DISCLAIMER: This post is not meant as an endorsement of the app by this website, but we are exposing it to viewers, to be made aware of its existence;  it is up to the viewer to decide, and we encourage potential users to also seek reviews from App websites, like iMedicalApps.com)

The application, scheduled to be available on Apple devices in July, is called InPharmD, a phonetic play on words with “informed” and “Pharm.D.,” the academic title assigned to pharmacists who have earned the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. The InPharmD app will allow patients and health care providers to type in any medication-related question – including questions about disease states – and receive an evidence-based answer within a specified time period. The application will also include an automated topic search feature, allowing the user to learn tips, facts, and the latest news about medications from around the United States and World.

“Currently such a service is not commercially available,” said Ashish Advani, Pharm.D., clinical assistant professor at Mercer and founder of InPharmD. “Existing drug information websites and apps do not offer customized drug information, and existing drug information centers that provide customized information do not presently offer a website and mobile app as a means of communications. With this endeavor, we aim to promote the exchange of drug information in a way that has never been done before.”

The new application comes at a critical juncture in the health-care delivery system. Nearly nine out of 10 adults have difficulty using routinely available health information, resulting in poorer health outcomes and higher health care costs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS). As such, a key HHS initiative is better health communications, health literacy and developing more e-health formats.

“Improving health communication and utilizing health technologies are essential to promoting individual and population health,” the HHS communications initiative stated.

With an estimated 91 percent of U.S. health care providers using smartphones and 170 million Americans getting health information over the Internet, InPharmD is designed to target patients and providers at the point of care, whether it is before, during or after a medical visit.

Mercer University and the Mercer Health Sciences Center provided Advani the time and resources needed to develop the application. H.W. “Ted” Matthews, Ph.D., senior vice president for Health Sciences at Mercer, said the application is greatly needed.

“The cost associated with poor medication management is in the billions of dollars,” said Matthews, who is both a pharmaceutical scientist and a registered pharmacist. “The health care industry is now acutely aware that both patients and providers must become better informed about medications, medication treatment and therapy, and medication interactions. Our hope is that this application is part of the solution that will move us closer in that direction.”

Though the infrastructure of the application is largely complete, including the attainment of the patent for how the application works, it is currently in the testing and data input phases with an expected launch date on July 1. For more information about InPharmD, please contact Ashish Advani at advani_aa@mercer.edu



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