ACT News

Smartphone technology MedAdvisor makes medication easier

Hannah Thomson knows it can be easy to run out of medication or forget to fill a prescription when you have to manage nearly 20 prescriptions at any one time. 

The 26-year-old has several medical conditions including lupus, asthma and gastroparesis requiring her to take up to 20 pills a day, and manages up to 17 scripts. She also manages medication for her six-year-old son Vincent Trenka who has asthma and multiple stomach problems.

"It's not easy, not at all and because I have problems with my memory, it makes it even harder to keep on top of it," Miss Thomson said. 

A rise in e-health technologies is now making it easier  for patients such as Miss Thomson to keep track of their multiple medications.

She has been using a medication management tool called MedAdvisor and says the technology means she hasn't run out of medication since using the app.

"It keep track of exactly how much you have of your script, exactly how much you have left and it gives you warnings when you're running low," she said.

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A recent study from The Cochrane Library revealed only half of patients take their medication as prescribed. 

MedAdvisor is available to patients free-of-charge through pharmacies who pay a monthly subscription to access the technology. It is available on Apple, Android and online. 

There are 23 pharmacies active with MedAdvisor in the ACT and 1200 nationally. 

MedAdvisor managing director Josh Swinnerton said the technology aimed to help people manage their medication and overcome some of the day-to-day challenges of taking medicine safely.

"It essentially hooks into the software that runs in pharmacies so it automatically knows all the prescription medication you're taking and from that, we can drive an interactive assistant if you like to manage medication for you so that includes everything from reminders to fill scripts, reminders to follow up to see your doctor for new scripts to also things like taking doses," he said. 

"With the uptake of smartphones, it seemed like an obvious way to make use of what smartphones can do given that they're pretty much always with people, they're connected to the internet and they're the ideal tool to do this sort of thing." 

Jenny Liddell, a pharmacist at the Gungahlin Pharmacy Select, said patients had reported positive feedback about MedAdvisor.

"They find it's very convenient, easy to use and it makes their life easier because they can tell how many scripts they have left at the pharmacy, it reminds them when it's due, they can tell when their scripts are running out and they need to see their doctor," she said. 

Mrs Liddell said the pharmacy had 271 people signed up to MedAdvisor. 

Mr Swinnerton said only pharmacies could activate accounts as they were well placed to verify a person's identity.

More than half of MedAdvisor users are aged over 55. The technology also offers a feature for carers who need to manage medication for someone else. 

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