Personalized drug safety alerts

Medication errors account for a larger portion of deaths than they should. As part of my work for various firms I’ve been involved in designing, architecting, and installing drug safety systems in hospitals and IT systems. Reducing medication errors is a big goal for everyone these days but it’s not easy for a patient to do much about it on their own. Until now.

I was pleased to learn about iGuard. It’s one of the first web-based services that will help you take medication safety into your own hands instead of relying only on healthcare professionals. iGuard claims to be “the fastest and easiest way to get personalized, safety alerts and updates about your medicines.” Very nice idea.

Recent studies by the Institute of Medicine and the US Food and Drug Administration reveal that the FDA does not focus enough attention on monitoring drugs once they are approved. Most drug approvals are based on clinical trials involving a few hundred or a few thousand patients, but many uncommon side effects don’t emerge until a drug is being used by millions of people. Through a quick online enrollment on the iGuard website (, patients who regularly take medications can choose to receive patient-specific updates about the safety of the medications they are taking from an independent source. And participants in iGuard will receive these updates whenever new information is learned about their medicine, allowing them to make the most informed decisions about their healthcare.

There’s an event on the October 4th online (a webcast) that will introduce the concept of iGuard and why it’s important. I plan to check it out, you guys should too.

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3 thoughts on “Personalized drug safety alerts

  1. I’ve already signed up myself and my family for iGuard because I am managing not only my parents’ meds, but mine as well. I have a chronic condition and was suprised when at my last doc visit, one of my meds (with a risk rating of orange) wasn’t even in my file in their system. Health Apps are great, but human error is a reality. I’m hoping this new initiative really takes off, it could be a life saver.

  2. FDA, Center for Evaluation and Research
    -Adverse drug reactions are the fourth leading cause ;
    -There are over two million serious Adverse Drug Reactions each year;
    -Adverse drug reactions account for approximately 100,000 deaths each year;

    I checked out the iGuard site and thought it was really neat. A great way to stay on top of your drugs and anyone you know who is taking drugs. It is so hard to keep up with all the newly released information!

    ADR’s are serious and in many cases can be completely avoided with knowledge. Recently at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco a new consumer health tool was released in beta to help avoid problematic drug interactions.
    The consumer health tool makes DCMD makes finding drug-related problems fast and easy. Because DCMD identifies drug-related problems in a fraction of the time it would take other systems, DCMD is helping people recognize drug side effects that would otherwise have been missed for lack of time.

    What is really unique about this tool is it’s Natural Language Technology which enables the system to understand symptoms as the user naturally describes them. Everybody explains how they feel differently so this system will be able to interact with its users unlike anything else currently available.

    The site is available for a beta preview right now. I would really like to hear what you have to say about it, I think it is going to help a lot of individuals and save lives. I hope you find it as exciting as I do!

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