Big Data // Big Data Analytics
News
7/17/2013
04:26 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Big Data App IDs Lookalike Prescription Pills

Drawing on an extensive database of pill images, the MedSnap ID app for medical professionals uses the iPhone to quickly identify prescription pills and reduce medication errors.

5 Big Wishes For Big Data Deployments
5 Big Wishes For Big Data Deployments
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

Here's an unpleasant scenario: You suddenly fall ill while out of town and hurry to the nearest ER. You wisely bring along your prescription pills -- all mixed together in one unmarked bottle -- but are too woozy to remember the names and doses of your medications.

Situations like these make life difficult for ER physicians and other medical professionals, who often are forced to make life-or-death decisions based on scant information about their patients' prescription drug usage. But MedSnap ID, a new subscription service from MedSnap, a Birmingham, Ala.-based startup, aims to improve things by identifying prescription pills visually to improve medication adherence and safety.

"Medication safety is something that's very important and expensive to U.S. healthcare, but it's also something that affects people personally," said Dr. Patrick Hymel, MedSnap's CEO and cofounder, in a phone interview with InformationWeek.

[ Want to make a baby -- pronto? Read Big Data Knows When You're Fertile. ]

With a background as an ER doctor, Hymel has first-hand knowledge of the problems that MedSnap ID aims to solve. "I had emergency experiences with patients bringing in pills and not knowing what those pills do," Hymel said. "Trying to get a history from a patient of what they've taken, it's very difficult."

Of course, medical professionals can make medication mistakes too, and these infrequent errors can prove deadly. A distracted doctor, for instance, might write a prescription incorrectly, or a pharmacist might dispense the wrong drug or dosage.

"These types of errors are very difficult to detect if you've got five minutes to talk to a patient in the emergency room," said Hymel.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
6 Tools to Protect Big Data
6 Tools to Protect Big Data
Most IT teams have their conventional databases covered in terms of security and business continuity. But as we enter the era of big data, Hadoop, and NoSQL, protection schemes need to evolve. In fact, big data could drive the next big security strategy shift.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek - July 21, 2014
Our new survey shows fed agencies focusing more on security, as they should, but they're still behind the times with cloud and overall innovation.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.