A major new trial in Spain using mobile devices to make prescription medicine information more accessible has been approved by the project’s partners including charities, pharmaceutical industry representatives and government bodies.
The “Accessible Medicine” project will use two-dimensional Data Matrix square barcodes placed on medicine boxes and packaging allowing people to use an application or “app” running on a smartphone or other mobile device with a camera to link to detailed medicine information online. The information can then be spoken aloud or conveyed in other formats on the mobile device according to user needs and preferences.
The project is being led by Vodafone Spain Foundation with a range of partners including Technosite, the trading and research arm of Spanish national blindness charity ONCE; and the Spanish Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (FARMAINDUSTRIA).
The partners say beneficiaries of the system will include not only blind people and people with impaired vision but also people who have difficulties handling the small folded leaflets currently issued with medicines.
The new trial has been approved following successful phase one trials ending last year. Developments for phase two include expansion of the online drug database from five to the 30 most commonly-used medicines; and improvements to the design interface.
Alongside the trials, ONCE is working with the Spanish Agency of Medicine and Health Products to create a database with accessible information on all available medicines.
According to the phase one report, the system has possible applications in other fields such as information about food and clothing. More information can be found in Spanish only at the project’s website.
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