In order to retain the efficiency of the medications we take, staying adherent to our treatment plan is of utter importance.
Taking oral contraceptives is no different than taking any other drugs. Just like with any other medication, it's easy to forget to take a daily oral contraceptive dose, which can lead to unwanted pregnancy.
Luckily, there are plenty of mobile apps that deal with this problem by helping patients stay compliant with their medication regimen, including birth control.
Most of these pill reminder apps cover a wide variety of medications, but they're not specifically based on oral contraceptives and may be cumbersome to use.
Some of these mobile apps, however, focus on birth control pill management in order to help female patients stay adherent to their medication regimen and not miss the important dose ever again.
'myPill Birth Control Reminder' is one of those apps. While its primary function is to remind women to take their birth control pill daily, the app also works as a medication use tracker and provides the advice on the birth control use.
Can you tell us the story behind your mobile app? Where did the idea for your app come from? What served as your inspiration for the app?
I wrote the app for my girlfriend, more than eight years ago. One year later, we got married, quit our jobs and started a software company that focuses on the development of 'myPill' app.
How did you build the content that's contained in the app? Does the information in your app come from evidence-based resources, such as scientific literature, peer-reviewed articles and case studies?
Yes. Mostly the app refers users to their pamphlets for instructions, but any information is well checked against verified resources.
What impact has your app had on clinical practice so far? We'd appreciate if you could share some stats on how frequently your app is used worldwide.
Users have shown to have a significantly lower average of missed pills, only 14.7% of them have forgotten their pill at least once a month, while the world average stands on 58%, according to studies.
What are the tools and technologies used to build your mobile app (both cloud- and client-side)? Was it native or cross-platform development? Did you consider other technologies?
Apps are developed natively for iOS and Android. We've started from iOS and added Android two years later. Our backends have several technologies in use, such as Java, Node.js, MySQL, and MongoDB.
What were the main challenges you had to overcome when developing your app? Could you please single out the biggest technical challenges, product challenges, marketing challenges, and support challenges?
The main challenge is to overcome mobile OS issues that cause notifications to not work properly. Marketing wise, the main challenge is to get installs and having a profitable cost-per-install.
Could you single out the 3 biggest mistakes you made when developing the 'myPill' app?
1. Learning iOS development on the fly led to many poor written code that had to be rewritten over time.
2. Not developing Android earlier. Being a first in the market is a huge deal.
When it comes to medical apps, sooner or later the issue of data protection and security always comes up. How do you make sure that user data is secure?
We've used all security best practices from early on. Personal data is encrypted, all backend communications are using SSL, certificate pinning, etc.
We are excited about the technologies and what they might hold for the healthcare and the future of medicine. What do you think this technology-driven, human-centered future holds for mobile health and how do your app plan to contribute?
We'll keep listening to our customers, adding features that can make their life easier, at least in terms of birth control.
Could you share some word of advice with other mobile app developers? What steps they should follow in order to make a successful app?
Solve a real problem, take the time to build a good app, in both infrastructure and UX. Listen to your customers and iterate a lot.