As previously touched upon by Fueled, there are apps available for needs as serious as taking HIV prevention measures. But for those who are newly diagnosed and those who have been living with it for a numbers of years, there are a different set of measures to focus on in order to stay healthy. Being consistently on par with daily medication requirements has the potential to be both unsettling and daunting. While there are of course people who may experience no side effects or dire complications with HIV medication neither initially or in the long run, there are still a great many who do, given a number of factors. For this demographic, there is now eMedFusion’s iChart, a brilliant smart phone app that acts not only as one's go-to HIV medication interaction encyclopedia, but also a tool for helping one avoid dangerous drug combinations.
The number of forums dedicated to question after question regarding medication worries is a clear indication that such an app is a necessary and indispensable tool. Our generation is, after all, sprouting up smart phones nearly everywhere. Everyone, including doctors, can now benefit from having easily accessible knowledge of HIV medication do’s and dont’s without having to navigate the sea of conflicting information the Internet can be infamous for.
Some articles online will refer to HIV medications as "poison" and others will claim these allegations are completely false. It is often difficult to decipher which advice is more true, that it is not difficult to imagine someone newly infected and deciding whether or not to start medication wanting to pull their hair out! Simply being informed and having reliable information is potentially the best possible way to feel secure and have your medication work for you, without all of the second guessing and stress.
What It Provides and How It Works
iChart comes equipped with a complete list of HIV anti-retroviral medications, what they are composed of, summary data, and a list of nearly 5,000 drug interactions. Once you’ve found the anti-retroviral medication you are currently taking or are planning to begin, potential drug-drug interactions between anti-HIV drugs and other medications, which are also listed, are presented as a “traffic light system” (red, amber, and green) to indicate the recommendation. A simplified summary of the interaction is given, along with a grading of the quality of evidence (very low, low, moderate, and high). Since the app’s initial launch in 2010, it has been steadily updated as thoroughly as possible to provide a complete list of possible medication listings.
Having such innovation is particularly necessary considering that more and more patients taking advantage of and properly adhering to highly active anti-retroviral drug treatment (HAART) are subsequently living to see ages that present other health complications, whether it be high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, or some other genetically-determined ailment which requires yet more treatment. For example, it is not recommended to take a cholesterol-lowering statin for heart disease with an anti-retroviral (ARV) because the ARV will inhibit the statin from being broken down by the body, thus increasing its level in the blood and putting patients at risk of the serious muscle wasting disorder rhabdolymisis. Patients and doctors alike will benefits from this app as it can aid in the avoidance of such latent combinations. With 25 currently known anti-retroviral drugs on the market, there are at least more possible options for treatment that can accommodate a patient’s individual needs.
iChart can save you a trip to your doctor’s office and that inconvenient co-pay, unless of course it is essential for you to go in for blood work. At the same time, it may cut down the amount of time you would typically wait on a response from your doctor via email in response to one of your questions. Many users end up with a wealth of knowledge regarding medication interaction before even stepping foot into their doctor’s office.
It perhaps goes without say that a doctor’s time can be just as limited as yours, so having an information source available 24/7 is a huge step in the direction of finding a viable way to stay in control of drug information. The app is free, and eMedFusion is working on making it available in other languages. Blindly depending upon the advice of a doctor is not exactly the best way to be in total control of your diagnosis. It is always better to have some kind of supplemental information.
By showing up with a few poignant statements and questions to bounce off your specialist, you just may end up dodging a potentially detrimental medication decision. As mentioned before, health care professionals and patients have access to the same info by using this app, and can therefore be on the same page when making considerations.
For those who are currently dealing with an HIV diagnosis, whether or not you may have other existing complications, it is paramount to make well-informed treatment decisions precisely because it is the key to staving off ARV drug-resistance. It is well-known that staving resistance off is the key to lowering your potential of developing AIDS due to the ineffectiveness of a specific medication for one complex reason or another. The application is compatible with both the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch and requires web access for only the initial download and updates. Spread the word and try to make living with an HIV regimen less unpredictable and more controlled.