Five Essential iPhone and iPad Apps for Pharmacists
Pharmacists are expected to know everything about every drug, an expectation that is patently ridiculous. How do you maintain your credibility when a client or friend asks about one of the 50 gazillion possible drug side effects or interactions? That’s right, there’s an app for that. Some of these nifty apps are exclusive to iPhone, and others will work with any smart phone.
The Epocrates OTC drug module, for iPhone and iPod Touch, is a free app that lists information on more than 3,500 prescription and OTC medications. Information referenced includes dosing, warnings, contraindications, cautions, side-effects and reactions, drug interactions, retail pricing, insurance information, pictures, risks for specific types of patient (like pregnancy warnings), manufacturing information, DEA/FDA status, and pharmacology info. It even has an option to keep personal notes.
Drugs.com has a free, comprehensive online database with a phone-friendly interface that can be accessed by any phone with a browser. Information is available for more than 24,000 Rx and OTC medications includes dosing, warnings, contraindications, cautions, side-effects and reactions, drug interactions, retail pricing, insurance information, pictures, risks for specific types of patient (like pregnancy warnings), manufacturing information, DEA/FDA status, and pharmacology info. A separate pill identifier database allows search by imprint, shape, and color.
Lexicomp offers a complete line of software packages customizable to fit your needs. Choose a software bundle for your smartphone and/or computer. The bad news is that this is not a free application. A one-year subscription for the complete package for a single device is $285 and does not include the online database. It’s a lot of information, but it comes with a hefty price tag.
The Medscape App is an essential free general reference tool from WebMD for the iPhone or iPad. It puts a wealth of information at your fingertips, with diseases and conditions plus protocol and procedures in addition to a medication database. Other features are a medical news aggregator, mobile CME, a drug interaction checker, and a U.S. physician database.
Symptom Checker.MD is a free app for iPhone that can be downloaded via iTunes. You can also access the information online or using any phone with a browser and web access by visiting MyCity.MD. The neatest thing about this app is the ability to match symptoms or known conditions or disease to local resources – physicians and clinics in your local area that specialize in whatever afflicts you. Entering “diabetes” and my local zip code produced a list of 486 related articles, 16 local endocrinologist/diabetes specialists arranged by patient rating, a list of 50 primary care physicians in case your insurance requires a referral (also arranged by patient rating), a list of area hospitals, and a list of area pharmacies. In addition, there was a list of related informational videos and a link to onsite general information. Everything you need to help your customers sort out medical care for a specific condition, and it’s free.
Do you have apps you prefer for iPhone, smartphones or web? We’d love to hear about them.