8 Must-Try Apps for Pharmacists

Laura Enderle, Associate Editor
Published Online: Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Follow Pharmacy_Times:

Tired of scouring the iTunes app store or Android market for apps you can actually use? Here are 7 recommendations from the editors of Pharmacy Times.

If you unwrapped a shiny new smartphone or iPad this week, chances are you’re on the lookout for apps you can use behind the counter. Although the market for healthcare apps is decidedly physician-driven, the choices for pharmacists are steadily growing. New apps are added every day, and reliable standbys—such as Lexicomp and Epocrates—continue to be upgraded on a regular basis.
 
For new smartphone owners, these 7 apps are a good place to start:
 
1. OTC Guide App
The OTC Guide App is the newest addition to the growing Pharmacy Times family of mobile offerings, and the first on our list of must-try apps for pharmacists. It brings the results of our 2011 survey of pharmacist’s OTC recommendations directly to your iPad or iPhone. Products are categorized and color-coded for quick and easy searching, and condition guides for each category give the pharmacist a top-level view of key counseling points for patients.
Compatible with: iPhone/iPod touch and iPad
Price: $3.99
Download: http://phrmcyt.ms/urePAI
 
2. Epocrates
The gold standard for mobile drug references, Epocrates is available at multiple price points to fit every budget. It’s also easier than ever to navigate, thanks to a user-friendly upgrade to its interface that includes customizable features and faster access to information. The free version, Epocrates Rx, provides access health plan formularies, a drug interaction checker, medical calculators, clinical updates and medical news, in addition to its flagship product: a database of brand, generic, and OTC medicines that is illustrated with images and searchable by shape, color, or imprint code.
Compatible with: iPhone/iPod touch, Android, BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile
Price: $0 to $299
Download: http://phrmcyt.ms/sPsNDE
 
3. Lexicomp
Lexicomp partners with the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), and members of both organizations get a special discounted price.  Users can choose Lexi-COMPLETE, which includes all 20 of Lexicomp’s drug and disease databases, or mix and match references to meet their needs. Some options include a patient education module with leaflets covering pediatric and adult medications; references for looking up pediatric and neonatal dosing guidelines and pregnancy and lactation labeling; and AHFS Essentials, a database of detailed information about prescription and OTC drugs that is published independently by ASHP. 
Compatible with: iPhone/iPod touch, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Palm Windows Mobile
Price: $40 to $285
Download: http://phrmcyt.ms/tzAFGg
 


WEIGH IN: Pharmacy Times wants to know how you use mobile apps—both at home and on the job. Do you use your iPad or Droid behind the counter? Have a favorite pharmacy app we missed? Share it in the comments!

 
4. Micromedex Drug Information
Since it made our March 2011 list ranking the best apps for pharmacists, Thomson Reuters’ Micromedex has garnered high praise from Wired magazine for its usability. According to the publication’s first-ever App Guide, “its user interface is the best of all the prescription drug apps. Many of the others have login menus or a bunch of clutter. But Micromedex is so fast and easy.” The app—which includes generic and trade names, adult and pediatric dosages, warnings, adverse effects, toxicology, and other information—was also recently added to Apple’s curated “Apps for Healthcare Professionals” category in iTunes. The current version is rated 4.5 stars out of 5 in iTunes, and is available for both iPhone and iPad.
Compatible with: iPhone/iPod touch and iPad
Price: Free
Download: http://phrmcyt.ms/gr3atO
 
5. Sigler Drug Cards
According to a pharmacist-written review by iMedicalApps, Sigler Drug Cards is an ideal study resource “if you’re the type of person who is more likely to have a smartphone with you than a pile of flash cards.” For each of the top 300 most commonly prescribed drugs, the Sigler app provides a full-color picture, FDA dosages and indications, pharmacology, drug interactions and precautions, adverse effects, illustrated chemical structure, and patient counseling tips. Fans of Pharmacy Times’ Can You Read These Rxs?” and “Case Studies” columns will appreciate a forthcoming “Quiz” section, which the app’s developers say is currently under construction.
Compatible with:iPhone/iPod touch and iPad
Price:$29.99 (a free “lite” version is planned)
Download:http://phrmcyt.ms/sELVJE  
 
6. Redi-Reader
As our legal expert Joseph Fink, BSPharm, JD, noted in his October 2011 article about the implications of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), “being familiar with the origins and uses of CPGs and their potential contributions to clinical decision making is essential.” Redi-Reader is a free app that makes it easier for pharmacists to access these evidence-based recommendations from a mobile device. It includes official guidelines set by the Infectious Disease Society of America, the American Diabetes Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Thoracic Society, among other organizations.
Compatible with: iPhone/iPod touch and iPad 
Price: Free
Download: http://phrmcyt.ms/s7sre8
 
7.Monthly Prescribing Reference
The latest version of this mobile tool from Monthly Prescribing Reference (MPR) includes a drug interactions checker and improved news and alerts. Users can search within the app for information on more than 4000 prescription and OTC drug monographs listed by brand or generic name, disease, pharmacological class, or manufacturer. Edited by pharmacists, MPR also provides up-to-date drug news, safety alerts, and recall information and features more than 30 medical calculators.
Compatible with: iPhone/iPod touch, iPad, Android
Price: Free
Download: http://phrmcyt.ms/uaRdh3 (Android); http://phrmcyt.ms/t44YSz (Apple)


8. Google Translate
Handy for pharmacists who work with non-English speaking patients, Google translate allows you to translate words and phrases in more than 60 languages, including English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
Compatible with: iPhone/iPod touch, iPad
Price: Free

Download: http://phrmcyt.ms/uKY15r (Android); http://phrmcyt.ms/s4F8AY (Apple);
 

Related Articles
A pair of new studies looks at the effect of care from a multidisciplinary team of providers and use of a smartphone app on asthma adherence in young patients.
Patients and caregivers are seeking smartphone health apps that are adaptable to their needs.
Keeping up with the latest connectivity options has become an essential task for pharmacists as health care migrates from paper to electronic systems.
Pharmacists can employ new tools to educate and engage patients while maximizing outcomes.
Latest Issues
$auto_registration$