Tuesday, January 21, 2014

FDA consumer app

The FDA's Medwatch program is its "gateway for clinically important safety information and reporting serious problems with human medical products." Recently the FDA has worked on their web site to make it more user-friendly and has also attempted to make it it easier for consumers to report problems with approved drugs, vaccines, and devices... developing, for example,  its Consumer Voluntary Reporting Form.

Now it has released an app, Medwatcher, available for iOS and Android and downloadable from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. Per the FDA

"MedWatcher is a mobile application (app) that allows individuals to submit voluntary reports of serious medical device problems to the FDA using a smart phone or tablet. The app makes it easier and faster for healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers to send voluntary reports of medical device problems to the FDA, compared to the traditional reporting methods - mail, phone or online. The MedWatcher app allows users to upload photographs of medical devices, which can help identify visible problems with the device, such as breakage or corrosion. App users can also choose to automatically receive MedWatch Safety alerts, FDA safety communications, recall information, relevant articles and other information on specific medical products of interest."

After registration and login you can  search the library of drugs, vaccines, and devices; pick the ones you have an interest in; and add them to a Watch List. From the watch list you can get further  item details, etc. The app then provides you a (searchable) news fed of entries related to the items on your watch list.

You can  also report problems with any of your drugs, vaccines, or devices using a simple 5-step process - pick what you are reporting on; provide product and diagnosis info (with optional ability to add/submit a photo); provide the date, a description of what happened, and  pick outcomes from a pre-defined list; provide patient age and sex; finally provide reporter information; then submit. 

Below are screen shots on a Samsung Galaxy S4, and from the desktop web site...




Pretty cool.

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