Mobile Apps for Medication Management: Review and Analysis


TABI Katarína RANDHAWA Abnashi Singh CHOI Fiona MITHANI Zamina ALBERS Friederike SCHNIEDER Maren NIKOO Mohammadali VIGO Daniel JANG Kerry DEMLOVÁ Regina KRAUSZ Michael

Rok publikování 2019
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Lékařská fakulta

Klíčová slova eHealth; mHealth; drugs; pharmaceuticals; therapy
Popis Background: Pharmacotherapy remains one of the major interventional strategies in medicine. However, patients from all age groups and conditions face challenges when taking medications, such as integrating them into the daily routine, understanding their effects and side effects, and monitoring outcomes. In this context, a reliable medication management tool adaptable to the patient's needs becomes critical. As most people have a mobile phone, mobile apps offer a platform for such a personalized support tool available on the go. Objective: This study aimed to provide an overview of available mobile apps, focusing on those that help patients understand and take their medications. We reviewed the existing apps and provided suggestions for future development based on the concept understand and manage, instead of the conventional adhere to medication. This concept aims to engage and empower patients to be in charge of their health, as well as see medication as part of a broader clinical approach, working simultaneously with other types of interventions or lifestyle changes, to achieve optimal outcomes. Methods: We performed a Web search in the iOS Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store, using 4 search terms: medication management, pill reminder, medication health monitor, and medication helper. We extracted information from the app store descriptions for each eligible app and categorized into the following characteristics: features, author affiliation, specialty, user interface, cost, and user rating. In addition, we conducted Google searches to obtain more information about the author affiliation. Results: A total of 328 apps (175 Android and 153 iOS) were categorized. The majority of the apps were developed by the software industry (73%, 11/15), a minority of them were codeveloped by health care professionals (15%, 3/20) or academia (2.1%; 7/328). The most prevalent specialty was diabetes (23 apps). Only 7 apps focused on mental health, but their content was highly comprehensive in terms of features and had the highest prevalence of the education component. The most prevalent features were reminder, symptom tracker, and ability to share data with a family member or doctor. In addition, we highlighted the features considered innovative and listed practical suggestions for future development and innovations. Conclusions: We identified detailed characteristics of the existing apps, with the aim of informing future app development. Ultimately, the goal was to provide users with effective mobile health solutions, which can be expected to improve their engagement in the treatment process and long-term well-being. This study also highlighted the need for improved standards for reporting on app stores. Furthermore, it underlined the need for a platform to offer health app users an ongoing evaluation of apps by health professionals in addition to other users and to provide them with tools to easily select an appropriate and trustworthy app.
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