Patients with coronary artery diseases and heart failure can be on a dozen medications or more. Diabetics are likely to be on several medications in addition to widely varying insulin dosing regimens.
Medication compliance can be a challenging issue and is a well recognized problem in healthcare. While many patients will forget to take their medications, they will far less frequently forget to take their smartphone with them. And herein lies an opportunity.
The CardioSmart Med Reminder app aims to take advantage by providing a platform for patients to track medication lists, deliver reminders, monitor compliance with therapy, and share that information with their physician. Here, we’ll walk through the features of the app and how it can be used in day to day practice.
On opening the app, we’re taken to our medication list. To start it, tap the plus sign at the top right of the screen.
When adding a medication, there are several fields to add details about dose and administration. There’s also a nice auto-complete feature when entering the medication name. That’s a potentially very useful feature for some more difficult to spell medications, like hydrochlorothiazide and chlorthalidone.
Scrolling down, we next have to enter for whom the medication is. This field is basically what allows tracking for medication medication lists. When we tap on that field, we’re taken to a screen to add a new user or select from a previously established user.
Going back to the Add Drug screen, scrolling down we get several options to add reminders to both take the medication and get a refill. Somewhat surprisingly, there is no functionality to enter the dosing frequency in a structured way. While we can enter it in the notes on the drug, that doesn’t allow the drug to appear on the calendar in the Reminders section.
After we save the medication, it appears in our Medication List. Once we’ve added a medication, tapping on it takes us to Drug Details where we can get basic information on the drug including adverse effects. There’s also an option to indicate when we’ve taken a medication. Its intended for as needed medications but could really be used for any medication – when we indicate we’ve taken a medication, it gets marked on the calendar in the Reminders section.
Going over the next section on our bottom navigation bar, we are taken to the Reminders section where we can view a calendar with our medication dosing reminders. Having already added a reminder to take lisinopril, there is functionality to record whether the medication was taken or missed; if it was missed, we can also record why. While recording a medication as taken is pretty easy, recording it as missed requires a few more taps and could probably be simplified. Nonetheless, its still a potentially valuable feature. When we get to the More section, we’ll see how all of this data gets shared.
The Refills section, which basically appears similar to the Reminders section and offers similar functionality as far as providing alarms to remind us to get refills.
In the More section, there are several features worth. First, there’s a pin lock option to add an additional layer of security. There is also functionality to provide feedback on the app to the developer.
Most notably, there are two share functions. The first is to share the medication list. The second is share the history; the history is where all of the information on whether we took or skipped a medication for which a reminder was set and when we took an as needed medication is shared. When generating these emails, we can pick a specific user’s data to share as well as a time frame.
There are a few ways I could see this app used.
- Use the reminders to promote & track compliance: Basically set a reminder for every medication based on the dosing frequency (daily, every 12 hours, etc). This will both create alerts when its time to take the medication and entries into the daily calendar in the Reminders section where we can track compliance.
- Just list the meds: For more simple use to say document a medication list for a patient, just add the medications and put the dosing instructions in the notes section.
- Track specific meds like pain medications: Some folks may find use in tracking usage of as needed medications in, say, a post-op patient with pain or an oncology patient with nausea. For this, just enter the medication information and then have the patient tap on the medication, then tap on the “taken as PRN” option. This will add an entry to the calendar in the Reminders section which can be shared from the More section.
- Functionality is nicely integrated across different sections; for example, reminders can be added in multiple places
- Well designed user interface that gets right to the point
- Excellent sharing functionality
- Several use scenarios
- Needs functionality to add dosing regimen to calendar without having to have an alarm
- Integration with personal health records
- Export data in other ways, such as attached spreadsheet files
The ACC’s Med Reminder app is an excellent choice to recommend to patients, a well designed app with practical functionality from a trusted source. And its free.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Simple, clean user interface
- Multimedia Usage
Can’t beat free
- Real World Applicability
There are a lot of great use scenarios for the app
- Device Used For Review
- Available for DownloadiPhone