Apr 30, 2010
I am an undernourished, allergic, schizophrenic transplant patient suffering from anxiety, a series of digestive disorders, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism and am heavily reliant on pain medication.
Okay…not really, but I did want to see how good iGuard’s drug safety and medication management system is at catching potential interactions and helping guide patients with multiple health conditions manage their medication.
One of the first things I liked was the fact that the service keeps track of my profile and how recently I’ve updated it. This is especially important for patients with chronic conditions. As their healthcare team manages their conditions, side effects and overall health, the patient themselves may not remember to keep their own records current.
In the example above, you’ll see I’ve been prompted to update my profile -- in case any of my medications have changed, thereby providing an opportunity to catch a drug interaction or make me aware of new information regarding one or more of my medications.
The other thing I like are the easy to understand icons, clear identification of potential interactions, and in the case of Vytorin and Lipitor a Level 5 alert that I may be on a drug combination that could trigger serious, potentially life-threatening events.
The email also provides a nice safety summary that is easy to understand, with suggestions about which medications I might need to discuss with my doctor during my next office visit.
Another great feature is the “Recent Alerts” call out. iGuard’s algorithms have advanced to the point where my monthly email now includes FDA alerts and updates of relevant information relating to the drugs I’m (fictitiously) taking -- without the clutter of irrelevant information in which I have no interest.
Now here is the part that you may not know…iGuard was originally started and funded by Quntiles. That’s right, the contract research organization (CRO) responsible for operating some of the world’s largest clinical trials for the drug manufacturers.
So, the answer to the question posed in the title of this post is “both.” iGuard is both a system to assist patients in managing their drug regimen and potential drug interactions and a rich recruitment database that can be mined and used to recruit for clinical trials.
For more information on iGuard, you can hit the official website at www.iguard.org. Additional information regarding their drug product rating feature can also be found on Jonathan Richman’s blog post on Dose of Digital.