2011 Mobile Awards

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NPS Medicines List iPhone app [DRAFT]






Project Overview

There are more than 140,000 hospital admissions due to medicines mix-ups every year in Australia. Many of these admissions could have been avoided with the use of an up to date medicines list.

The NPS Medicines List iPhone app provides a place to keep all the critical medicines information people need to share with their doctors, pharmacists or emergency health professionals.


NPS - Better choices, Better health


Project Clinical Lead: Dr Danielle Stowasser
Project Lead: Troy Beer

Creative Licence Digital:
Stephen Hutchings – Designer
Kelvin Lam – Developer
Peng Chen – Developer
Luke Rowan - Producer

Project Brief

We all take medicines, but too often we take them for granted. Being medicinewise helps people get the most benefit from their medicines.
Medicines can interact with each other and cause problems – even things people don’t think of as medicines, such as vitamins and herbal supplements, can make you very sick in the wrong dosage or combination.

By keeping a medicines list people can track what they are taking, the active ingredient and dosage which is essential information to share with doctors and pharmacists.

The NPS Medicines List app encourages people to be medicinewise by tracking the brand, active ingredient, strength and dosage of their medicines, including prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines. It can also:

- Keep photos of medicines, packaging and dispensing labels
- Keep a history of changes to medicines used
- Save personal details and health professionals’ contact details
- Note questions to discuss at the next medical appointment.

Project Innovation / Need

The more people know about their medicines, the more confident they are to talk about their options with their prescriber or pharmacist, and that helps people get the most benefit from their medicines.

This information can be tracked on a paper Medicines List, but the iPhone app provides a way for people to keep this essential information on hand, ensure the list is kept up to date and track any changes as well as easily share it with carers and health professionals.

Many drugs share the same active ingredient but have different brand name - which can lead to double ups and overdoses.

There are other medicine tracking apps available however they don’t deal with the issue of active ingredients and brand name confusion.

With an easy to use, intuitive interface, the app makes it easy to track medicines and their usage and share it with your health professional.

The NPS Medicines List app has been developed in Australia in line with best clinical practice and evaluated by the NPS e-health team, the same people who educate and inform Australian health professionals about quality use of medicines and diagnostic tests.

User Experience

Bringing the functionality of a paper Medicines List to the enhanced functionality of an iPhone app means users are likely to have their Medicines List with them at all times.

This is important if they have to visit their doctor, pharmacist or a hospital unexpectedly and also so that the list can be easily shared and modified.

The app also prompts the user to add important information about their medicine. This includes the brand name and active ingredient, the required dose, how and how often to take it and special instructions or notes.

All of this can be emailed from the user’s phone in an easy to read format so it can be printed and shared with carers or health professionals easily.

NPS has produced paper based medicines lists for many years and has heavily researched their use. We used that experience and further consumer testing to design the medicines list app.

Our website features a video demonstrating how to use the app - http://www.nps.org.au/consumers/tools_and_tips/iphone_medicines_list - and there are also screen shots providing a step-by-step guide to specific features of the app.

Project Marketing

The NPS Medicines List app was developed as part of a public awareness campaign encouraging people to become medicinewise.

By being medicine wise you’ll know what you’re taking and why, how it could affect you — and whether a medicine is the best option in the first place.

Being medicinewise means knowing the right questions to ask about your medicines, and that if you are unsure about something you can ask your doctor, pharmacist or search our website.

A key message supported by both the campaign and the app is that people need to know the active ingredient in their medicines.

The app itself has been promoted in the consumer and professional health media, and as part of an advertising campaign across TV, online, print and outdoor.

The media campaign saw the NPS Medicines List app mentioned on ABC radio and on the Morning Show on Channel 7, and reviewed in health professional publication Australian Doctor, among many other media outlets.

The app has proven to be a useful and engaging tool for users demonstrated by it becoming the number one free medical download in Australia on the App Store within two weeks of release.

It was featured as a New and Noteworthy medical app on iTunes and is currently featured on iTunes’ medical What’s Hot.

This category relates to applications that provide or promote a medical service or information.
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