Take your antibiotics on time, every time: New iPhone app from NPS medicinewise
- Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:44
Do you struggle to take your antibiotics correctly? NPS has launched a new free app for iPhone and iPad designed to help people take their antibiotics correctly and prevent antibiotic resistance. The new ‘Antibiotics Reminder’ app allows you to set reminders for each dose of antibiotics, track whether doses are taken correctly and record progress in a daily recovery diary.
Released as part of a broader campaign to fight antibiotic resistance in the Australian community, NPS clinical adviser Dr Danielle Stowasser says the new app will help people be more medicinewise when it comes to their antibiotics.
“Taking antibiotics correctly is important both for the health of the individual and the health of the community,” says Dr Stowasser.
“If you are prescribed antibiotics, take them exactly as directed by your health professional, even if you are feeling better. If you have a bacterial infection and you miss a dose you may not have the right amount of antibiotic in your body to kill the bacteria causing your infection. This could mean that you have the infection for longer and can also increase the chance of passing your infection onto others.
“If you don’t take your antibiotics exactly as directed, this can encourage the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. These are bacteria that are able to withstand antibiotic treatment and they can pose a serious threat to our health and the way that antibiotics are used in the future.”
People using the Antibiotics Reminder app can search for the antibiotic they have been prescribed by brand name (e.g. Amoxil) or active ingredient (e.g. amoxicillin), with predictive text generating a list of potential matches from an inbuilt database. After selecting the form (e.g. tablets), strength and how often the antibiotic is used, the app generates a set of modifiable alarms to remind the user to take each dose.
When it is time for their next dose, the user receives an alert from the app and a prompt to enter whether that dose was taken on time, early, late or not at all. This information is tracked and can be reviewed later.
The app also allows users to record how they feel each day and track any improvements using a recovery chart; a journey that can be shared with family and friends via Facebook, Twitter or email.
“The Antibiotics Reminder app can help people take their antibiotics on time, every time – an important step in improving treatment outcomes and fighting antibiotic resistance in the community,” says Dr Stowasser.
This is the second smartphone initiative from NPS Medicinewise; an interactive Medicines List app was launched in June last year.
While the Medicine List app is designed primarily for regular medicine users or people on multiple medicines, the Antibiotics Reminder app also caters for more sporadic medicine users who are only prescribed antibiotics occasionally.
The free app is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (with operating systems iOS 5 or higher) by searching for ‘Antibiotics Reminder’ on Apple iTunes on your computer or on the App Store on your mobile device.
General information about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance is also provided in the app, including a link to a survey for users to provide feedback to NPS.