Mango Health has developed an app to help with a patient’s medication adherence, and has introduced numerous features that may be beneficial. Perhaps one of the standout features of the app is it seeks to be a relatively engaging app for patients, in order to encourage continual usage and rewards for compliance.
Initially upon opening the app, the user is brought to a home screen that looks visually appealing with the primary features predominately displayed. These include the patients medication schedule, the level of points collected due to actions (e.g. recording medications taken, adherence streak), their medications displayed, and an inbox of updates or alerts. Other sub-menus include the patient’s medication history, ability to add meds, and list of medications.
The medication schedule is intuitive and easy to navigate. It allows the user to set the time to take their medication rather easily. This includes PRN/”as needed” medications and those with set schedules. An interesting feature is that patients can also record their mood as they take their medications, such as feeling well or not well. This could be quite beneficial, especially in regards to certain disease states (e.g. chronic pain).
The app will send alerts through the phone to alert the user to take their medications as scheduled. The patient can either “snooze” to remind them in 15 minutes, or record that they took their medication then. However, a shortcoming of the app is the inability to record that a patient may have taken the medication past the scheduled time. This could be a shortcoming when trying to establish overall adherence history.
The app also displays information regarding the patients overall adherence versus other users of the app, which could be beneficial in seeing how a patient stands in comparison with the same medication.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of the app is the reward system, which gives the patient points that can be redeemed based on their adherence to medications via the app. While current points rewards are dedicated towards coupons, it would be interesting to see if in the future an insurance company use such data to reward their patients with incentives such as lower premiums.
Another feature that stands out is the information provided by the app. Mango Health utilizes drug information from LexiComp (Wolters Kluwer) to identify drug interactions (both OTC and with other recorded medications) and provides general information regarding the medication for the patient. This is quite different compared to other medication reminding apps, which often do not take the extra step to give quality drug information for a patient.
App is quite robust and has multiple features to engage a patient in continual usage to track their medication history and adherence
Reward feature for users based on overall adherence
Trusted drug reference cited as source of drug information, which is often lacking in other apps
Reminder system is intuitive and gives patients some leniency
No ability to share data with others, which could be quite beneficial for providers. This could be pertinent with the ability to record how the patient is feeling.
Integration of any noted side effects the patient is feeling would make the app feel more inclusive
Could include ability to record doses taken outside of allocated time frame for consistency
Adding medications could be done better, especially with pills available (counting by units of one is rather difficult, would be easier to just enter in actual number)
Overall, Mango Health has designed an app that looks to engage patients. There are many features that patients will find beneficial and useful. The inclusion of a well known drug information reference is a standout. However, this is not an app that clinicians may find beneficial in their relationship with patients in terms of seeing how a patient is doing with their medications, due to the lack of ability for patients to share such information. As such, this is a patient first app with little development for the overall picture of medication management.
Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 4.5/5
- User Interface: 4 – Very easy to use and navigate though some areas could use improvement
- Multimedia usage: 4 – Good use of rewards and other integrative features to encourage adherence
- Price: 5 – Free
- Real world applicability: 5 – App could be very beneficial for patients looking to track their medications
Device used to conduct review – iPhone 4
App Version – 2.01
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.