Ophthalmology Business

DEC 2012

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

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patients about their next scheduled dose. The app is designed to simplify confusing medication regimens for patients with conditions that require multiple drops per day. Glaucoma patients, for example, may take as many as seven drops each day from a handful of bottles. The app lets users snap a smartphone picture of their medication, helping them keep track of different bottles. That's particularly useful among generic brands whose labels may be hard to read, Dr. Harbin noted. By recording each dose, the app informs users if their bottle is almost empty. When it's time for a refill, EyeDROPS reminds them to call their pharmacy and leads them to their contact list. Dr. Harbin is planning a future version that immediately pulls up a pharmacy phone number. Other features include videos that demonstrate proper drop-taking Time for drops techniques, like closing eyelids for a minute after inserting a drop and waiting proper intervals between doses. The app will caution users if they are taking their medications too close together. "It enforces good behavior," Dr. Harbin said. The EyeDROPS app is free for iPhone users and Android phones. Dr. Harbin and co-developer Scott Pastor, M.D., are working on versions for Windows phones and Blackberries. The app is currently only available in English, but Dr. Harbin noted new programs will include translations into Spanish, German, and French. Heading off problems With 60 million glaucoma patients worldwide, Dr. Harbin said the app can help head off the serious consequences of poor medication use. "With a chronic disease like glaucoma, where there are no symptoms Today screen and where the treatment can sometimes irritate the eye, people don't always grasp the importance of taking drops regularly and correctly," he said. While Dr. Harbin anticipated that patients with glaucoma will be the most common users, the app designers are also targeting the 30 million dry eye sufferers who often take multiple drops to moisten their eyes and reduce discomfort. Dr. Harbin envisions uveitis and some allergy patients also employing the app to keep track of multiple drops. The free app is supplemented by a premium version that includes enhanced functions. Available at a small cost ($1 a month for iPhone users, $1.30 for Androids), the premium app allows users to record a complete eye history on their phone, including past medications, allergies, prior laser treatments, and surgical continued on page 10 Source (all): Scott A. Pastor, M.D. December 2012 • Ophthalmology Business 7

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