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New iPhone app, 'MedWatcher,' to support real-time drug safety surveillance
Date:9/14/2010

Boston, Mass. Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have developed a new iPhone application in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to engage health care practitioners and the general public in issues of drug safety and real-time pharmacovigilance. The application, "MedWatcher," allows users to track the latest drug safety updates provided by official alerts from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as news from informal channels such as the media. It also enables users to report information about drug side effects and view reports of adverse events submitted to the application by patients and physicians.

Designed as an easy-to-use tool to enhance and support ongoing drug safety efforts, MedWatcher incorporates information about thousands of medications listed in FDA databases and enables users to customize the app based on their medications of interest. As drugs are selected in the app, users are able to view alerts that have been generated by the FDA, create news feeds about a particular drug, and set preferences to receive future alerts and news about those medications. Users are also able to see reviews by patients and providers, and may choose to submit a review as a patient/clinician themselves about adverse events they, or their patient, may have experienced.

"Traditional voluntary drug safety surveillance is limited by substantial under-reporting," said John Brownstein, PhD, director of the Computational Epidemiology Group within the Informatics Program at Children's Hospital Boston (CHIP), who co-led the development of the application with Clark Freifeld, research software developer at CHIP, and Nabarun Dasgupta, PhD student at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. "High profile failures to detect safety problems during the pre-approval period have brought new intense scrutiny on the drug approval process and underscore the need for additional methodolo
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Contact: Keri Stedman
keri.stedman@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3114
Children's Hospital Boston
Source:Eurekalert

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