Submitted by Gregory Rockson
In 2009, 84 children in Nigeria died from consuming a baby teething mixture that contained diethylene glycol, an industrial solvent and an ingredient in antifreeze and brake fluid. Due to the lack of connectivity and data sharing in the health care system, it took a while for hospitals to connect the dots and identify patterns in the patient adverse drug effects.
Even though pharmaceutical spending in Africa is expected to grow to $45 billion by 2020,1 the continent is in need of an efficient drug monitoring system. In a report prepared by the Management Sciences for Health, of 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa whose pharmacovigilance systems were assessed to determine whether they were capable of ensuring drug safety, just 4 had the capacity to “detect, evaluate, and prevent medicine safety issues.”2 According to the same report, about 6.3% of all hospital admissions come from adverse drug reactions and 49.5% of hospitalized patients develop adverse drug reactions.
Patients have no easy way of reporting adverse drug reactions to their doctors. Doctors on the other hand have difficulties in determining causality of ADR’s due to analogue and sparse patient medication records.
mPharma was started by 3 college students to build an integrated drug monitoring system for health care facilities in Africa. We have set up agreements with the Zambian and Ghanaian Governments to deploy this infrastructure.
During the hackathon, our team of 2 developers would like to work alongside developers and designers from Israel to build a secure smartphone application that enables patients to communicate in real-time with their doctors about any adverse drug reaction. The application will also have a store that enables patients to find the availability of their medicines and make in-app.This app will be linked to the already existing mPharma Physician and Pharmacy applications.