What is it?
Rapid administration of Glucagon for a patient is vital during an acute episode. Unfortunately, users may not be ready for administration due to lapse in education on its proper use. As such, Eli Lilly created the Glucagon App to help users understand how to properly administer the drug when needed.
What was Innovative?
The app integrated a very fluid mechanic to help guide users through the steps required to use Glucagon. In one sense, there was a limited gamification of the app in which users were not merely given text or video of administering Glucagon, but also each step had the user involved (e.g. shaking the device to simulate shaking the vial after mixing).
Additionally, the app could also be scheduled to remind users when to practice again to keep refreshed on medication administration.
Why is it important?
Research is demonstrating that users may forget how to use rescue medications when most needed due to lapse of education. Using apps that have integrated user education, whether through gamification or mini-tests, can help users maintain knowledge required for medication use. This could be further expanded to initial education on medications or devices that do require some steps in their use (e.g. inhalers, insulin pens).
The list compiled above is not the “best” of 2012 — rather, they are apps that show the future of mobile medicine. While each of these apps have their pros and cons, there were inherent features that made them stand out from the rest. It is our hope that other developers and medical professionals will learn from these apps and expound on them in the future.
Links to apps mentioned in this compilation: