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 (www.iguard.org), 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.