5 Questions with Lexicomp, a clinically objective drug reference suite

Introduction

Lexicomp, part of Wolters Kluwer Health, is a major medical information resource for clinicians. While they have a large support network of clinical information available via the computer, they have been making gains on mobile products via apps.

I had the chance to meet up with several of their employees at the recent ASHP (American Society of Health System Pharmacists) Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas, and set-up an interview to talk with them about their major developments.

Lexicomp has really been a big driver in drug information for pharmacists, and are well known throughout many pharmacy schools. However, Lexicomp is still expanding to other healthcare professions. This interview will center on what major changes they have planned and how they aim to broaden their audience.

Interview

What new products are you currently developing for mobile devices? What are your plans for innovation?

This year, we have several new features we’ll be implementing across our packages for Android, iOS, and Blackberry 10. These include a more efficient search function that takes fewer clicks to find what you need, enhanced IV compatibility information, and a bigger image database for our Drug ID module. Meanwhile, our innovation team is currently considering about twenty very interesting ideas to expand functionality even more. We hope to begin work on some of those this year.

Can we expect any major changes in terms of usability or content on current suites available?

There are two upcoming content changes that we’re excited about. The first is that we will be adding Trissel’s™2 for  I.V. compatibility content in our mobile apps, along with our existing information from King Guide. Users will be able to choose which source they want to get IV Compatibility information from.

Second, we are expanding our database of drug images by incorporating data from our corporate partners at Medi-Span. This will have the biggest impact on our Drug ID module, where users will be able to view a larger database of images as they identify stray pills.

What is your target audience? How are you trying to reach new users, especially in regard to physicians?

Our target audience is all clinicians who prescribe, dispense, or administer drugs to patients — pharmacists, physicians, dentists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and others. Most of our customers are currently pharmacists and physicians.

Last year, we created a new package of our mobile app especially for physicians called Lexi-PHYSICIAN COMPLETE. In addition to drug reference information, it includes a Drug Plan module which allows prescribers to confirm which drugs are on formulary from inside the app itself. It has over 4700 formularies available.

In addition, we’ve been talking with physicians to ensure that our apps include the information that’s most important to them — labeled and unlabeled uses, detailed dosing for adults and children, monitoring parameters, clinical practice guidelines, test interactions, administration notes, and more. We’ve also implemented a few suggestions we’ve received from physicians, such as the ability to re-order fields in monographs so the ones that matter most to an individual clinician can be brought to the top.

Finally, we work with both APhA [American Pharmacist Association] and AMSA [American Medical Student Association] to get our apps to pharmacy and medical students — often at a significant discount.

What are barriers to adoption of full paid suites by professionals? What do you think are the benefits of adoption?

One thing we’ve learned in conversations with our users is that often clinicians don’t realize the full range of benefits our products can provide. They’re not aware of all the content and features that they can access from inside the app — things like toxicology databases, clinical practice guidelines, pharmacogenomics, patient education, pediatric and neonatal dosing, and our set of over 80 clinical calculators.

We’re working to communicate better what exactly each database does, both inside and outside the app, so it’ll be clearer to customers and non-customers alike what the real benefits of a paid suite is, compared to other options.

Another one of the benefits of using a resource like Lexicomp mobile apps is that we do not maintain any relationships with pharmaceutical companies. This was a conscious decision on our part — to remain completely independent from pharmaceutical companies so that there would be no question of whether our information was being influenced in any way. We are really and truly supported by clinicians, and those are the people we feel responsible towards.

Do you see yourselves expanding to the new Windows mobile devices (e.g., Surface tablet)?

Lexicomp has always supported the devices that our customers tell us they’re using. At the moment, our apps are available on five platforms — Android, iOS, Blackberry, Palm, and Pocket PC. We’re getting ready to add a sixth, Blackberry 10, which is based on Android rather than the older Blackberry platforms.

We’ve also been in conversation with Microsoft, talking about what it would take to develop our app for the new Windows 8 mobile platform. We’re monitoring demand from our customers, and when we hear enough people asking for it, we’ll develop the app. For the time being, we haven’t heard that demand yet.

Interviewees

Matt Kerscher – Mobile Product Manager
Matt Bennardo – Mobile Market Segment Manager
Darik Warnke – Senior Marketing Manager

Lasting Thoughts

I am excited with the recent developments by Lexicomp and very interested in what innovation they will bring to the medical reference apps. While well known among pharmacists, Lexicomp has a lot of competition in the physician market.

I feel that their strong point lies in knowing the information they provide comes from a clinically objective background loaded into a comprehensive medical suite. Hopefully, we will be able to review their Lexi-PHYSICIAN COMPLETE app shortly and see how it compares to similar products available on the market.

Author:

Timothy Aungst, PharmD

Digital Pharmacist seeking to integrate technology and mHealth into pharmacy practice and patient care. Assistant Professor by day, blogger and writer by night.

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2 Responses to 5 Questions with Lexicomp, a clinically objective drug reference suite

  1. Ashley March 29, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    I would love it if I could have my Lexicomp app on my Surface!!!!

  2. Kristi May 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    I would also love to have Lexicomp for my Surface!

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