Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem. According to the CDC, over 2 million each year becomes infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Over 23,000 of these people die of their infections due to the lack of an effective antimicrobial. We have recently seen the discovery of so-called “superbugs” such as colistin-resistant E. coli in multiple facilities across the United States that makes methicillin-resistant Staph aureus look like a harmless fly. Multiple studies have shown that antibiotic overprescribing is a common problem in primary care, where over 90% of antibiotics are prescribed. In the US, the CDC is leading the charge promoting antibiotic stewardship. The CDC has launched numerous online tools as part of a playbook of core elements to combat antimicrobial resistance. The Joint Commission is evaluating hospitals on their antibiotic stewardship programs as part of their accreditation processes.
Here on iMedicalApps we have reviewed several apps from the NHS Scotland including Polypharmacy Guidance and have favorably reviewed many others. The NHS is even giving away millions of medical and health apps and devices to patients to promote population health.
The newest medical app from the National Health Service (NHS) Scotland is called Antimicrobial Companion. The purpose of Antimicrobial Companion is to assist NHS Scotland providers in the proper prescribing of antimicrobials. The medical app includes tools such as vancomycin and gentamicin dosage calculators, an entire primary care antibiotic guide, customizable toolkits for regional variance and the ability to collect data to submit antibiotic prescribing audits to NHS.
Evidence based medicine
The Antimicrobial Companion medical app is part of a series of apps by NHS Scotland that promotes evidence-based, decision support for providers. The medical app promotes antibiotic stewardship via the use of evidence-based NHS guidelines, drug calculators, and the ability to customize the app based on local preferences and resistance patterns.
Who would benefit from the Antimicrobial Companion medical app?
Any healthcare provider in NHS Scotland who prescribes antibiotics including pharmacists, students, NP’s, PA’s, emergency medicine, inpatient and primary care providers.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- Interface is easy to use and laid out clearly.
- Includes helpful antibiotic dosing calculators.
- Primary Care Guidance section is of high value and promotes antibiotic stewardship.
- Available for both iOS and Android.
- Vancomycin and gentamicin calculator interfaces somewhat cumbersome.
- Primary Care Guidance section could include more drug information.
- Some guidelines only available in the UK.
Antimicrobial Companion is a fantastic free medical app for NHS Scotland providers that truly promotes antibiotic stewardship. The medical app includes helpful dosage calculators for inpatient providers, antibiotic guidelines for primary care and is customizable to match local antibiotic resistance patterns.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
The Antimicrobial Companion app is easy to use, but the gentamicin and vancomycin calculator interfaces could be improved.
- Multimedia Usage
The Antimicrobial Companion app contains links to various UK guidelines and numerous calculators, some built into the app, and some available via links.
App is free.
- Real World Applicability
NHS Scotland’s Antimicrobial Companion is a great example of a free app that promotes antibiotic stewardship. The app should be on the smart device of any provider in Scotland who prescribes antibiotics. We need a free resource like this in the United States.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.3.3
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad