Having a mobile drug guide could be very useful for individuals who have to take a lot of medications, or who have to take care that their loved ones take their meds as prescribed.
Being curious about required dosages, possible side effects, or interactions with other drugs is perfectly normal, even if you're not the kind of person who usually likes to research every bit of information.
Staying on top of the prescribed drugs is equally important for both patients and healthcare providers. iPharmacy app for Android and iPhone does exactly that, by providing exhaustive information on thousands of different drugs, right at your fingertips. It is a detailed drug reference, pill reminder, pill identifier, price checker and saver, and many more.
The app opens to a main screen that features several different options including My Meds Reminder, Discount Card, Pill identifier, Drug Search, and others. Most of these options are made for patients, while some of them, particularly drug search and pill identifier, can be used by providers as well.
Although the design isn't the strongest point of iPharmacy app, the navigation through the app and its sections is very easy. Also, the app provides great amount of information, in a well-organized and well-structured content, which isn't too technical or complex.
Users can open any of the options on the home screen to see the app in work. For example, if you tap on My Meds Reminder, it would open to a blank screen waiting to be populated by adding drugs you (or your loved ones/patients) use.
This opens the list of all drugs available in iPharmacy app (more than 20,000 according to the creators) listed alphabetically. To avoid obnoxious browsing through this huge list you can use Search field, which works perfectly, editing the list as you type. If your prescribed medication isn't on the list you can add it using the Custom Drug option.
As you've added the drug(s), you can set reminders, including dosage, start, end, and refill date, how many times a day you should take it, and additional notes.
Each drug contains exhaustive information on indications & usage, dosage, drug interactions, potential adverse reactions and contraindications, suggestions for treatment in case of overdose, etc.
It should be noted that app also lists controlled substances separately, with schedules from I to V, indicating their potential for abuse (the lower the number, i.e I or II, the higher the risk).
In the Drug menu, users can also check availability in pharmacies near their location, by tapping on Pharmacy symbol that opens list of stores with address and phone number, and with their location on the map.
Users can also check for best prices, which lead them to GoodRx website, where they can compare prices for the drug(s) they've chosen.
Both options are also listed on the main screen, so users can check pharmacies and prices from there as well. One interesting feature of iPharmacy app related to prices is Discount Card that helps users save up to 75% on 50,000 drugs at over 50,000 pharmacies.
Another feature that can be particularly useful to healthcare providers is Pill Identifier. It uses intuitive interface allowing users to pick shape, color, score, or enter imprint if applicable, and get the list of all drugs that meet the criteria.
Most of the drugs listed have Info button that allows users to get additional information, i.e. pictures with all shapes and colors for the chosen drug (if made by different manufacturers) and more information, which you can also get via Drug Search option.
The app also features Barcode Scanner that allows adding medications in easy and convenient way. It uses your phone camera to scan the barcode from the medication package, automatically adding the drug into the list. If this doesn't work, you can add NDC code manually.
Although iPharmacy app provides great amount of well-organized information, it's not clear which sources have been used for the drug dosage, administration, interactions, etc.
The only thing the app links to is Berkeley Wellness e-magazine that opens within the app and isn't related to pharmacy, but to general wellness topics.
That wouldn't be a problem if iPharmacy app provided a single reference link related to drug information. While I don't think that the app's outdated design is some serious drawback, the lack of medical resources is something that shouldn't be taken lightly.
If iPharmacy wants to be considered a serious medical app, this is the first thing they need to improve in their future updates. By then, iPharmacy app can work only as a simple pill reminder or pharmacy finder for patients, or an additional tool for healthcare providers who would use it along more serious drug reference apps.
Benefit: It's primarily designed for patients, but healthcare providers can find it useful too.