Last year, we chose our favorite healthcare apps of 2018, highlighting four platforms in total. There was Medisafe, which helps patients take their medications on time and as prescribed, along with other features; Round Health, which has a similar function as Medisafe, helping organize a user's medications and vitamins, allowing users to set up schedules, and more; TrekIT, a platform designed to improve care coordination; and Wellth, which helps reduce medication non-adherence for chronic disease patients.
This year, following much internal deliberation, we have chosen our four (and one "bonus") favorite healthcare apps of 2019. Kudos to the developers of these impressive programs.
There are many reasons why we like CareZone. Formerly offered by AARP as the AARP Rx App, it's a free app designed to store critical health information. How much information? A lot.
CareZone can store medication details, such as drug names, dosages, refill information, and prescriber names. Use the schedule feature to set up reminders for when to take and refill medications. Trackers allow users to record health vitals (e.g., blood glucose, weight, sleep) and monitor progress.
These features alone would make the app impressive. But there's more. There's a calendar function to document medical appointments and other critical dates; a contacts function to note information on doctors, pharmacies, insurance, and more; a journal for observations and important notes; and the ability to store healthcare-related photos and files.
Last, but not least, is the sharing function. Users can safely share data stored in the app with others. This is particularly helpful for caregivers, family members for emergencies, and improving care coordination. As a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article notes in a story sharing stress relief tips for caregivers, "As a caregiver, it's important to stay organized. There are apps available, such as Carezone, that store your loved one's medical providers and list of prescriptions all in one place. It also allows this information to be easily shared with family or friends if the need arises."
GoodRx is an app (and website) that is receiving a fair amount of attention as of late, and rightfully so. The basic premise is simple. The company behind the app — also called GoodRx — collects pricing information on every U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prescription, including available discounts, at more than 70,000 pharmacies. Users can perform searches through the platform to determine prices for their prescriptions at nearby pharmacies. Some prescriptions are available at a discounted rate for users with a GoodRx membership (annual membership, when this blog was written, is $36 for individuals and $72 for families with up to six people, including pets). Some pharmacies offer coupons through GoodRx. Users can have these coupons sent to their smartphone via email or text. GoodRx claims that more than 10 million consumers use the platform monthly and that since 2011, Americans have saved more than $10 billion using GoodRx.
GoodRx has been in the news recently for some noteworthy announcements. Earlier this month, it announced a new partnership with AAA that offers even greater savings on prescriptions to GoodRx users who are also AAA members. In a more significant development, GoodRx announced it was adding a telemedicine service. Through this service, Americans can conduct an online visit with a board-certified medical professional concerning a variety of issues, including urinary tract infections, acne treatment, quitting smoking, pregnancy testing, and tuberculosis testing. Most virtual visits cost $20. GoodRx is offering this service as a result of its recent acquisition of HeyDoctor.
The story behind the development of the CareZare app was too good to ignore. CareZare is a platform that allows caregivers to communicate, share information, and organize caregiving responsibilities. It was launched in December 2017 and founded by Logan Wells, a high school student in Massachusetts at the time. Here's some of the CareZare story, as described by Wells on the platform's website:
"When our family matriarch, Nannie, was diagnosed with dementia, we leapt into action. But it quickly became apparent that we were facing a steep learning curve. We needed to climb it, fast, all while figuring out how to share the burden of care, manage professional caregivers, maintain our lives as parents, kids, professionals and students, and, most importantly, provide the world's best possible care to keep Nannie safe and happy.
"Four years later, here we are. We continue to climb our learning curve while sharing our insights with you. The CareZare app provides a complete toolkit for managing care of your loved one in a centralized place, removing stress, and improving care. Our goal is to guide you through the process of caregiving through the app and content on our site."
In an interview with VentureFizz, he noted that caregivers in the United States are providing unpaid care for their loved ones for an average of 20 hours a week. We applaud Wells for developing an app that can help overcome many of the care coordination challenges encountered during those long caregiving periods.
While we typically spotlight apps designed for U.S. customers, we thought the offerings through Echo were worth highlighting. The app is a platform where users in the United Kingdom (U.K.) can arrange to have their medications delivered to any address in the U.K. for free, regardless of size or weight. All users need to do is provide the platform with the name of their National Health Service (NHS) general practitioner (NHS is the publicly funded national healthcare system for England) and what medications they require. Echo essentially takes care of the rest. Users can also set up reminders for reordering medications and manage their family members' medications (up to six members of any age) through the app.
The company behind the app was founded in 2015 by an Apple business developer and a manager at LloydsPharmacy's online doctor service. McKesson, which is the owner of LloydsPharmacy and a name likely familiar to many U.S. healthcare professionals, recently acquired Echo. As a press release from McKesson noted, there are an estimated 29 million people in the U.K. requiring ongoing, repeat prescriptions, and an increasing number of customers are choosing to manage the process online. We think the ability to make it easy for patients to receive their medication — through the free shipping and "deliver-anywhere" promise — can only help with medication adherence.
The "bonus" healthcare app we wanted to highlight as a favorite is our own Meds 360°. We take tremendous pride in this app and never pass up an opportunity to sing the praises of the incredibly talented, hard-working Cureatr development team.
To summarize, Meds 360° is an innovative medication management app. It puts the prescribing and pharmacy pickup history for 265 million-plus patients into the hands of clinicians. We've made these critical details easy to access and assess through a clean, simple-to-navigate interface that organizes extensive medication information, such as therapeutic duplications, drug strength changes, prescribers, fill dates, regimen gaps, and opioids. As our clients have discovered, some of the most significant benefits include decreases in medication errors, faster and more accurate medication reconciliation, and enhanced regulatory compliance. Find out how Meds 360° can help your organization by scheduling a demo.