The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a mobile application that would eliminate paper logbooks and collect data and life-saving insights.
According to FDA director general Nela Charade Puno, the “Electronic Logbook” app, which was donated by the health tech startup mClinica, would help modernize the FDA and the country’s public health sector.
“It can help the FDA ensure strict compliance with national regulations, perform recalls in real time, and reduce counterfeits and expired medicine, among other things,” Puno said in a news release issued Thursday.
She noted that for the past 50 years, pharmacists have lost precious time with patients filling out handwritten paper logbooks to comply with local laws requiring them to document patient prescriptions.
This bureaucratic process is also a challenge for the FDA as it monitors more than 10,000 active pharmacies across the country, Puno said.
The Electronic Logbook, which is accessible by mobile phone, will digitize prescriptions and use image recognition and artificial intelligence technology.
Puno said it can protect patients by monitoring their real-time use of prescription drugs, quickly recalling dangerous drugs, and reducing counterfeit and expired medicine.
It also lets pharmacists spend more time with patients by cutting paper bureaucracy and gives policymakers and researchers data that show disease outbreaks and medication trends as they occur in real time, she said.
To illustrate how it works, Puno said the Electronic Logbook can monitor a patient’s purchase and use of medicine. By finding out that one in every three patients buys fewer antibiotic pills than the number prescribed by the doctor, the app can assess if a patient is at risk of developing antimicrobial resistance.
This would help the government gain fresh insights on how to better target and treat public health problems, Puno said.