Apple adds medication tracking to iPhone.  What impact will this have on the path of the specialized patient?

Apple adds medication tracking to iPhone. What impact will this have on the path of the specialized patient?

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Yishai Knobel, CEO and co-founder of RxWare

Imagine visiting your doctor’s office. Instead of swiping a co-pay card and filling out a paper form by hand, the receptionist says, “We take Apple Health.” You wave your iPhone at a digital kiosk, instantly downloading your current medical record and insurance information. Your share is then deducted from a health savings account. So ! The doctor will see you now.

Apple adds medication tracking to iPhone.  What impact will this have on the path of the specialized patient?

This scenario is no longer relegated to the distant future. By introducing medication tracking into its existing iPhone Health app, Apple has just done for long-term prescription drug users what it did for anyone with a physical wallet. It paved the way for a native iPhone EHR tool capable of interoperable features.

The result for users, ultimately, will be unparalleled convenience. For pharmaceutical companies, Apple’s new tool more tightly integrates their products with general patient health records through the power of mobile apps, something many drugmakers have tried but failed to accomplish by themselves. themselves. And for specialist medication patients, whose medical journey requires the most time and money, the iPhone medication tracker could be a godsend.

The concept of a medication tracking smartphone app is not new. Medisafe, Mango Health (acquired by TrialCard), and RediHealth are among those that serve the same purpose, offering sophisticated functions and limited data integration with other apps. This tool and other existing medication tracking tools have set a high standard for the industry. Apple therefore cannot expect to convert every iPhone user to their native drug tracker overnight. But these apps can’t instantly access Apple’s point-of-sale payment feature, seamlessly integrate with Apple Watch’s health tracking features, or read, respond to, and share Apple Health data. stored with a supplier. Enabling medication tracking within the Apple Health ecosystem promises unrelated functionality – much like the difference between switching from Venmo to Apple Pay.

For iPhone users with only a small handful of active prescriptions, that’s not a strong selling point. These users may only use a medication tracker while traveling, if they use one. Specialty drug patients, whose prescriptions combat rare or life-threatening diseases, don’t have that luxury. They have to take more medication more frequently than the general population. Pre-loading every piece of actionable data on all of their prescription medications ― including when to take them ― has the potential to unlock a world of convenience.

The iOS tool underlying the Apple Health framework is HealthKit, a database that contains a user’s complete health profile. It allows any other app on your iPhone to access your profile data. What does this mean for patients taking specialty medications? Let’s say I need to reduce the frequency or dosage of one of my 20 prescription drug regimens. I can manually enter the new frequency or dosage into the Apple Health medication tracker. Then, with one click, HealthKit can sync that change to the MyChart app, or whatever app my provider uses to communicate with me. Only a native app could facilitate such speed and ease for a simple transaction.

The power of these so-called “white label” engines ― back-end applications that facilitate the sharing of information between distinct data ecosystems ― is not limited to healthcare. This is just one example of a larger global trend in the use of mobile devices. The bottom line: patients and clinical providers will be able to ditch their desktop computers and use a smartphone to meet all their needs: from checking in to the doctor’s office, filling out forms, tracking medications, and more.

Seventy-eight percent of patients using specialty drugs already use their mobile phone when visiting pharmaceutical sites. They interact with their device at any time of the day. This subset of the patient population will inevitably benefit the most from Apple’s medication tracking, paving the way for the power of native apps to turn an inconvenient chore into an instant convenience.

About Yishai Knobel

Yishai is the co-founder and CEO of HelpAround. Prior to HelpAround, Knobel was responsible for mobile telephony at AgaMatrix Diabetes, maker of the world’s first smartphone glucometer. He also served in Microsoft’s startup labs in Cambridge and as an officer in an elite Israeli military R&D unit. Knobel earned his MBA from MIT and holds BAs in psychology and computer science.

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