Opioid Safety With Health 2.0

Opioid prescribing app may help reduce risk of addiction and overdose

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) There’s an app for everything these days! There’s even an app to help doctors prescribe opioids more safely. A doctor in Canada designed an iOS application to help doctors prescribe opioids in a safer way.

At $9.99 on iTunes this app could help doctors easily follow opioid prescribing guidelines.

"Talk to a doctor about all of your drugs."

Andrea Furlan, MD, PhD, from Toronto Rehab in the University Health Network in Canada, created the application. Opioids come with a high risk for addiction and overdose. Yet, they are still necessary to use in the treatment of pain.

Opioid Manager is an interactive iOS application to aid clinicians in prescribing opioids to patients.

Dr. Furlan said, “This will help health care professionals apply the latest practice recommendations when prescribing opioids.”

“If physicians select the right patients before they write the first prescription for opioids, then there will be fewer complications later on, such as problems with stopping.”

Opioid Manager was designed with the 2010 Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain, as a framework that provides 24 practice recommendations for prescribers.

The application prompts doctors to answer certain health questions about the patient and then provides information on risks, drug storage, patient safety guidelines and treatment plans tailored to the patient’s needs.

There is also a conversion calculator, prescription dosage perimeters and reduction recommendations of safe stopping guidelines.

Once a patient’s information has been entered into the app, the doctor can use, update make personalized notations to that information during every office visit.

Patients can participate with using the app in the doctor’s office as well. There is a scale on the screen patients can touch and drag to indicate their pain levels.

Patient privacy isn’t an issue with the app. After a consultation the doctor emails the information to the patient’s chart, rather than storing it in the app.

Dr. Furlan said, “We see this app as a practical way to help doctors follow the recommendations contained in that 180-page Guideline (2010 Canadian Guideline for Safe and Effective Use of Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain).”
Opioid Manager was made available on iTunes for $9.99 on September 14, 2012.

This press release was made available in September on the University Health Network website.

Funding for development was provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Academic Health Science Centre Alternative Funding Innovation Fund. No conflicts of interest were found.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 27, 2012
Last Updated:
September 30, 2012