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Developing a medicines management app
In July 2018 the Medicines for Children project, in conjunction with our charity partner WellChild, were awarded funding and practical support from Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Comic Relief's "Tech for Good" programme.
Through this grant we are using new technology to develop a tool to provide assistance to parents and carers managing complex medicines regimes at home.
November 2018 update
In the recorded presentation below, Rachel from Reason Digital summarises the work that has gone into the Medicines for Children app since the process began in July 2018.
She covers the early planning stages, the discovery phase with parents and families, and recent research working with WellChild nurses and paediatricians and pharmacists linked to the RCPCH.
(NB. Please excuse the poor sound quality from around half way through the recorded.)
Proposed timeline for app development
November 2018 - February 2019
A series of 'design sprints' are taking place with the app development team at Reason Digital. In this work, they are assimilating all of the research that was undertaken with parents and carers (over 200 people) and the work with nurses, doctors and pharmacists.
Version 1 of the app (the 'Minimum Viable Product') wil be ready for user testing. If you are interested in being involved with this tesing, or if you have any questions about the app development so far, please get in touch with the team: Medicines.Leaflets@rcpch.ac.uk
Previous app development updates
- The app development team of Reason Digital, WellChild and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), held two engagement events for healthcare professionals at the RCPCH London Office on the 5th and 6th September.
- At these events the team provided background to the plans for the medicines management app, and discussed the initial feedback we had received from parents and carers.
- These events with nurses, clinicians and pharmacists were important because, even though the app's main focus is on the needs of parents/carers, it is vital to involve healthcare professionals early on in the development of any medical apps. This will help to ensure that the end product is one that healthcare professionals can engage with and hopefully endorse in their future clinical practice.
- The app was in its research phase where we were seeking the input of parents of children with complex medical needs or chronic health conditions who required regular medicines.
- We worked with families to get a better understanding of the processes they follow to ensure accurate recording and administering of daily medicines to their child.
- We are also interested in learning about any ‘tools’ they currently used to help keep track of administering complex medication such as a diary, a whiteboard, special containers etc and we welcomed photos and comments about these tools.
- We conducted a survey (8th-17th August) to learn more about how parents/carers manage medicines at home.
- We had an excellent response to this survey with over 220 parents and carers sharing their experiences of how they manage complicated regimes at home, and how technology could help in their daily lives.
- The wider picture gathered from this survey, using the general trends, will be used to inform our future work and provide evidence for the need for new solutions for parents/carers to manage their child's medication.
- Funding received from Comic Relief and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for the 9-month 'Tech for Good' programme.
- Initial meetings took place between the Medicines for Children team, WellChild and our digital partner, Reason Digital.
- Following a design sprint in Manchester with Reason Digital and parents/carers, paediatricians and pharmacists, and early meetings with Comic Relief, it was decided that the first few months of the 9-month programme are to be spent consulting with parents and carers of children who require regular medication to see how technology could help in their daily lives.