Important mHealth App Inspired by Doctor’s Frustration

Doctors and nurses often care for their patients so deeply that it frustrates them to no end when a patient suffers as a result of their inability to follow physician’s orders.

But in some cases, that frustration can result in a positive outcome.

Frustrated to no end with a teenage transplant patient who didn’t take his medication on time (a situation that resulted in hist body’s rejection of the kidney), University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics physician Patrick Brophy wanted to find a solution for this problem.

When Dr. Brophy expressed this frustration at home to his 15-year-old son, the young man gave his doctor dad a great idea for a mobile app.

Working with his son, Patrick Brophy developed a web and Facebook application called Iowa MedMinder that is customized to each patient. The application, which is secure and approved by the state’s Institution Review Board, creates a box listing all a person’s medications that pops up on Facebook and asks the user to check off those that he or she has taken.

According to a report in the Iowa Gazette, physicians are made aware of patient medication adherence via the application, which sends emails and text messages.

“The goal is to incorporate it into your normal life,” said Brophy, who serves as director of the UIHC’s Division of Pediatric Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation. “That’s the point of all mobile health care. It has to be part of your health. Not your health care.”

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