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Top of the charts

Managing HIV with the help of the HIV iCharts app

Published: 11 Oct 2011

top of the charts

HIV iCharts provides the very latest information about potential drug interactions between anti-HIV drugs and hundreds of other medications.

Client: University of Liverpool

Agency: eMedFusion, a division of the KP360 Group

Campaign: HIV iCharts

Timescale: July 2010 to January 2011

A quick look

HIV iCharts has been created based on the highly successful website, www.drug-interactions.org, allowing healthcare professionals the ability to access important drug interactions information on the move. This reliable, current, drug interactions resource is freely available as an app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. In three easy steps, HIV iCharts provides crucial details of potential drug interactions between anti-HIV drugs and hundreds of other medications that a patient living with HIV may be taking. The app has been downloaded by more than 4,000 users and is rated 4+ stars in the Apple iTunes store.

Challenge

Patients with HIV often require multiple medications to treat their underlying condition and to manage co-existing diseases. Such complicated multi-drug regimens can greatly increase the risk of drug interactions, which may negatively impact the effect of treatment, or result in unwanted side-effects. In turn, this can lead to poor adherence to treatment. The prescribing physician must make careful treatment decisions, knowing which drug combinations can be used, which to use with caution and which to avoid. For more than 12 years, HCPs and HIV patients have depended on a comprehensive, evidence-based drug interactions resource, www.hiv-druginteractions.org, to support treatment decision making. The HIV Pharmacology Group at the University of Liverpool, who created the website, saw the benefits of expanding this valuable resource into a mobile application and challenged eMedFusion, a division
of the KnowledgePoint360 Group, to come up with a solution. The app was also used in the US.

Solution

HIV iCharts was developed after surveying users of www.hiv-druginteractions.org and researching the Smartphone market. Feedback suggested that the Apple iPhone would be the most popular mobile device with users and that an iPhone app, replicating the interactions charts from the website, would provide instant drug-interactions data to users while on the move. In three simple steps, HIV iCharts provides the very latest information about potential drug interactions between anti-HIV drugs and hundreds of other medications. An internet connection is only necessary for the initial download and subsequent updates, resulting in a truly mobile resource. The application is available free of charge and can be downloaded from the iTunes App store.

Results

HIV iCharts was launched with great success at the 10th International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection in November 2010, reaching number one in the top 100 medical apps in the iTunes store on the day of launch. To date the iPhone app has been downloaded by 2,777 users and has been rated 4+ out of a possible 5. A customer review on the iTunes store reads, 'Well done all concerned. User-friendly and as consistently authoritative as the website, this will surely become an essential clinic and bedside ally. On behalf of the HIV Pharmacy Association, this is thoroughly recommended.' The app has now been created for the Android platform and to date has been downloaded by more than 1,500 android users.

Client verdict

"The interest from the media and overwhelmingly positive results from users of the HIV iCharts has created a new life for www.hiv-druginteractions.org. We have been able to harness new technologies to widen access to this important resource, which can only be of benefit to patients."

Professor David Back, HIV Pharmacology Team, University of Liverpool.

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