A free app that compresses a library of drug resources onto a device you can slip in a pocket is proving popular with pharmacists.

Consult by Univadis aims to act as a “doctor’s toolbag” and, while targeted primarily at doctors, can help inform clinical decisions for all front-line clinicians.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 10.21.07The app launched late last year, is compatible with iPhones and Android devices and has already garnered 11,000 downloads.

Consult has five functions, including a tool to check drug interaction, a disease guide and a converter to check generic versions of branded drugs and vice versa.

South London GP and clinical lecturer at St George’s University in London, Dr Hamed Khan, worked as an advisor to Univadis during the development of Consult.

“As a GP I see community pharmacists playing an increasingly important role in providing high quality care in the community,” he said.

“I think technology increasingly is becoming essential to frontline clinical activity and both phone-based apps and Internet resources are providing access to information in a way that has never been available before.”

Dr Khan has publicised the app to “various prominent pharmacists” and reports: “The vast majority have agreed it is really useful.”

The drugs database consists of a formulary of existing medication, including dose information, contraindications and whether they can be used by specific groups, for example pregnant or lactating women.

Information on the app comes from UK source eMC.

Users of the app can also view a record of major laboratory tests carried out in hospitals and the community that includes a discussion about how the results can be clinically interpreted.

“There are various apps available on the market but there are none that I have seen that combine the five functions that Consult does.

“This is specifically the case with the two key functions that are the most important for pharmacists – the interaction function and another function which allows you to look at the brand name or the generic name of a specific drug,” said Dr Khan.

“It is simply unimaginable that 30 years ago a pharmacist, for example, could go to a general practice and have the level of information you have in an app like Consult to hand, where you can just access evidence-based information within the space of 30 seconds and put it back in your pocket.

“The beauty of all that is that it has improved quality of care immeasurably in my opinion.”

The app was developed by medical education outfit Univadis and is free to download and use.

Dr Khan added: “As a matter of ethic and a matter of principle, I think it is important that evidence-based information is available freely to clinicians who are dealing with peoples’ lives every day.”

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