Innovative Health Care Apps Debut for Personal and Professional Use
On Dec. 3 at the mHealth Summit in National Harbor, Md., Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini introduced Passage, a fitness application that allows users to travel the world virtually while they exercise. The app was developed with Microsoft for Windows 8 and allows users to sync their workouts with a route in cities such as Barcelona, Spain; New York; or Rome. Passage integrates with Aetna's CarePass cloud-based personal health platform.
Epocrates for iPad
Epocrates has launched a free app for the iPad and iPad Mini that provides doctors with a clinical reference tool on the Apple tablets. Doctors can use the iPad's swiping capabilities for quick navigation and toggle between reference tools on medication, diseases and lab work. Physicians can review information on how to prescribe medication and see lists of formulary drugs. Announced Dec. 6, the app is free to download, but a one-year subscription to Epocrates costs $159.
Checking for Drug Interactions
Epocrates for iPad allows doctors to check for interactions for up to 30 drugs at a time. For example, an antibiotic such as clarithromycin can be cross-checked against the antidepressant sertraline and St. John's wort, an herbal medication used to treat depression.
Pill Identification in Epocrates for iPad
The Epocrates app for the iPad and iPad Mini allows clinicians to identify pills by imprint code and physical characteristics, such as color and shape.
Epocrates' Dosing Calculator
Built-in tools in Epocrates for iPad enable doctors to calculate body surface area (BSA) and creatinine clearance (CrCl), which estimates the functioning of the kidneys, to determine proper medication doses.
Microsoft and NextGen Healthcare, a developer of clinical, financial and connectivity software, have introduced MedicineCabinet, a free app for Windows 8 and RT devices. It allows patients to create, store and track medication records. In addition, MedicineCabinet provides guidance to patients on how to manage their medications. They can track their medication history and determine when they've missed a dose.
NextGen MedicineCabinet's Timeline
Announced Nov. 26, MedicineCabinet provides a timeline of what medications a patient has taken during the day. Doctors can review the data upon admission or discharge from a hospital and help prevent drug interactions and duplicate treatments.
Philips CarePartners Mobile
On Dec. 5, Philips announced an app that allows caregivers to keep track of the tasks needed to manage a patient's health. Available for iPhone and Android, the free app enables doctors to coordinate care and send messages in a secure online community. "CarePartners Mobile allows people to spend more time caregiving, and less time trying to determine what needs to be done and who is doing it," Mark Sabalauskas, senior product manager for Philips Lifeline, said in a statement. "The app also taps in to the growing trend of using mobile technology to communicate, organize our lives and improve our health."
Philips CarePartners' Mobile Tasks
The CarePartners app allows users to maintain a task list for caregiving and integrate these events into a smartphone calendar. Tasks may include taking a loved one or patient to a doctor's appointment, administering medication or requesting volunteers for care.
On Dec. 13, remote-monitoring technology company Masimo announced a free application called iSpO2, which links with the iSpO2 Signal Extraction Pulse Oximeter (available for $249 from Amazon) to allow users to check their own blood oxygenation (iSpO2), pulse rate and perfusion index measurements. When users connect the ispO2 sensor to their ring finger, results appear on the screen of an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.