Introduction: A medicines list iPhone app, based on an existing paper product, was developed by NPS MedicineWise for consumers. Since its launch in June 2011 the app has been downloaded over 19,000 times. With plans to expand its development and increase its use, it was critical to discover how the app is used and how useful it is.
Method: A total of 61 study participants used the app for five days and then participated in online focus groups.
Results: While most people have a system for managing their medicines, these systems vary in their effectiveness. The biggest problem with managing medicines is when medicine doses are forgotten or taken late. Usability problems with the app were revealed. While the app was easy to install, it was time consuming and difficult to input medicine information. The majority of people did not enter information in all fields. While the app was deemed useful and will continue to be used by the majority of participants, not all participants were aware of the existing functions or the capabilities of the functions. Use was primarily for self-management. The majority of participants were comfortable sharing the information in the app (via the phone) with a health professional. Roughly half wanted to upload their information to the PCEHR. Recommendations were made and incorporated into design decisions for an updated version of the app (which includes potential linking to the PCEHR), and a multi-platform release (web, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile).
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