New app for Alberta doctors and pharmacists helps heart failure patients
MedHF is a new app launched by Alberta Health Services, for the province's doctors and pharmacists, in an effort to help improve care for health failure patients.
Published Friday, December 7, 2012 1:55PM MST
Last Updated Friday, December 7, 2012 4:23PM MST
Albertans affected by heart failure are set to receive better care from doctors and pharmacists thanks to a new iPhone app developed by Alberta Health Services and the University of Alberta.
Med-HF will help physicians and pharmacists better manage medications and their side effects for the 80,000 Albertans with heart failure. The app was announced on Friday.
"The overall goal is to get these patients on medications that we know decrease deaths, decrease hospitalizations, make them feel better, get them on appropriate doses according to guidelines as well as make sure they're using them safely," Dr. Sheri Koshman tells CTV News.
Med-HF offers clinicians interactive, step-by-step instructions to determine appropriate dosage of medication and to help manage complications as they arise, including side effects to medication, interaction with other medications, and other conditions like diabetes or heart disease.
Before the app, doctors and pharmacists used a combination of national guidelines, individual drug instructions, and their own experience to ensure patients with heart failure are managed appropriately.
“"For somebody who doesn’t do it every day it’s quite complicated and there are a number of things to think about, for example a family physician may not be on top of all of the intricacies or may not know how to appropriately deal with the problems or safely monitor them, so this gives them some guidelines on how to do that," Koshman said.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Medications for the condition must be measured precisely and, even when that happens, they can have serious side effects including irregular heart rhythm and reduced kidney function.
MedHF is the province's first mobile app for clinicians.