There are thousands of drugs available on the market, and each year that list grows, introducing new medications to it. Finding the best treatment option for each patient can be overwhelming for healthcare professionals, but not just because of that ever-growing list.
Patients often present with individual clinical characteristics that may affect the optimal treatment option. This is why healthcare professionals need to evaluate all medication options that include extensive range of drug classes, when making a choice regarding the best management plan for their patients.
Healthcare providers also often deal with conditions that are not their specialty, which require them to prescribe medications they're less familiar with.
All of this can be difficult to do without current, appropriate prescribing recommendations coming from credible source, which are easily accessible when needed.
Generations of healthcare professionals have been using the Physicians' Desk Reference (PDR), which has been a trusted source of the most current medical information to support drug prescribing decisions and improve patient medication adherence, with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes.
PDR provides many resources to help healthcare providers, from the classic hardcover-bound book to their mobilePDR app that brings credible prescribing information at the fingertips.
mobilePDR app allows healthcare professionals to easily and quickly access the detailed drug information, to compare drugs and choose the best for their patients, to check interactions between drugs, and identify unlabeled pills.
The app requires users to register an account by providing some basic info, including their profession and specialty. While it can be downloaded for free by anyone, the app is intended for use by U.S. healthcare professionals.
mobilePDR app opens to the main screen where users can utilize the search tool to quickly find the relevant details about the particular medication. Users can search by brand or generic name, or even pharmacologic class. After the first search the main screen will start to populate with recent searches, and saved searches in another tab, which makes the access a lot easier.
Although the app states that drug summaries can be shared, this didn't work. The app would simply exit each time I tried to share the summary. This probably happens because of bug.
Once the medication is found, you can tap on it to get detailed drug summaries based on FDA-approved prescribing information. This information is specifically designed for use by health professionals and it include details on dosing (adult and pediatric), administration, contraindications, side effects, dosing adjustments for renal or hepatic impairment, suitability in pregnancy and lactation, mechanism of action, and so on.
The highlight here is that users can personalize this information according to their specific needs, which means that you can reorder sections, or omit some that you don't need.
Next useful feature of mobilePDR app is ability to compare different medications (up to 8 different drugs). You can simply add medications you want to compare, and they would be listed in side-by-side tabs you can switch by tapping on them or swiping left-right to compare dosing, indications, side effects and other information.
You can save drug comparisons and refer to them later, or you can browse though popular comparisons from the list that has been included in mobilePDR app.
Comparing different medications can help healthcare providers identify similarities and differences between drug regimens and make the best decision for each patient, thus improving the quality of care.
Providers can also use mobilePDR app to quickly and easily identify potentially harmful drug interactions. You could simply enter two or more medications and check for any interactions. The app uses simple color-coded system to indicate interactions as mild, moderate, major or severe.
For the purpose of this review, I wanted to check if Gemfibrozil that patient is using for high cholesterol interacts with Atorvastatin therapy. I got an indication that there's major interaction between these drugs, since there's increased risk of myopathy or rhabdomyolysis.
Once you get indication that there's a possible interaction, you can tap on it to expand the tab and learn more about the risks associated with harmful combinations, as well as receive helpful advice about adjustments to improve patient outcomes.
You can use this tool not only to check interactions between medications, but also to see if certain supplements may interfere with the treatment. For example, I've learned that Atorvastatin therapy could be affected if patient takes some vitamin supplements, because niacin combined with HMG-reductase inhibitors may increase the risk of myopathy
Healthcare professionals often have to identify unknown or unlabeled pills, which can be quite a headache. Many medications share color, shape or size, and it's hard to identify them even if you have the knowledge.
For this reason, mobilePDR app includes Pill Identifier tool that allows providers to enter in details about the medication they want to identify, including imprints, shape, color, or scores. The app then show all results that match the description, including a full-color photo to help providers visually confirm that the correct medication has been identified.
Here goes my second objection regarding this app. The results show only drug name with photo, but they do not link to the drug database for more detailed information. Instead, you need to get back on main screen and use the search tool to find the medication you just identified. It would be much better if Pill ID results link directly to app database.
Third problem is that you can't use mobilePDR app offline. It requires Internet connection, either WiFi or your cellular data, which can cost you money.
Despite these flaws, many healthcare professionals would find mobilePDR app as a very useful tool for getting comprehensive information about various medications and supplements and their interactions, as well as ability to compare different drugs or to identify unlabelled pills.
Benefit: Any healthcare professional who is prescribing medications to their patients would find this app useful