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iPhone App Reports Drug Safety, Adverse Events Info

MedWatcher opening screen


Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston in Massachusetts and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed MedWatcher, a new iPhone application that tracks the latest drug safety updates and alerts from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the news media. It also lets users report information about drug side effects and view reports of adverse events submitted to the application by patients and physicians.

MedWatcher gathers information about thousands of medications listed in FDA databases and allows users to customize the app based on their medications of interest. As drugs are selected in the app, users can view FDA alerts or create news feeds about those drugs, and set preferences to receive future alerts and news about the medications. Patients and clinicians can also see reviews by other patients and providers, and may choose to submit a review themselves about adverse events they, or their patients, may have experienced.

Two forms were created for the app’s reporting function, geared toward clinicians and patients respectively. Reports of serious adverse events are reviewed by members of the Computational Epidemiology Group in the Informatics Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, then submitted to the FDA and displayed in the app. Recognizing that the data contained in the app will come from official and unofficial sources, users are encouraged to interpret the data appropriately.

Related: New iPhone App Tracks Side Effects in Clinical Trials

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