Michael Guren wrote this on May 15, 2013
By the summer of 2010, I had been a Pharmacist for roughly 10 years. Technology had become an interest of mine and on my spare time I was teaching myself the basics of computer programming and web design. I was ready to take my new found skills to the next level by making an iPhone app...but what should I create? What did I need? Maybe by scratching my own itch I could help others as well?
So I thought about what I wanted in my day-to-day life and wished there was a drug information app that was easy-to-use and to the point (i.e. no medical jargon). Something that I could use as a Pharmacist, but also recommend to friends and family. Everything on the market at the time was more like an encyclopedia. Getting "just the facts" took too much effort and was nearly incomprehensible to non-healthcare professionals. So I thought to myself, this is it! I'll summarize medications myself, in a language that my own mother can understand, and add these drug summaries to an iPhone app.
It only took a couple months to have version 1.0 ready for submission to the App Store. In August 2010, PocketPharmacist was born. It was released with only 100 drug summaries. That's it. The app had two main screens, a list of drugs and a feedback button.
Within a few hours of releasing PocketPharmacist to the world I received several emails from users sharing their feedback. I thought this was so cool. Here was my little creation/pet project already being used by the public. I was excited and nervous at the same time. Would users enjoy my drug summaries? Would the drug summaries be too basic? It turns out that almost everyone that emailed me through the app thought the drug summaries were very helpful. They felt like they were talking to a live Pharmacist! The major problem was they wished there was more than 100 drug summaries. So I got to work.
Over the next couple of years I summarized as many medications as I could while balancing my life as a husband, new father, fantasy football maven, and...oh...a full-time Pharmacist. I am proud to say that PocketPharmacist now contains nearly 1,600 drug summaries along with features that users have requested, such as automatic drug interaction alerts and a medication organizer/reminder.
It's interesting to look back and realize that PocketPharmacist has gone from a hobby to an invaluable resource for thousands of people around the world. There are active users all over the map including Iraq and Israel. Amazing. What's most amazing to me is the fact that in the last six months alone PocketPharmacist has been accessed over 500,000 times. Yes, over half-a-million!
So, that brings me to the goal of this blog. What I would like to do is bring my unique perspective to both historical and current medication-related topics. I figure if thousands of people have benefited from my drug summaries, then perhaps they would also benefit from reading about various health-related topics from my point of view? It's worth a shot.
One last thing. If you have any medication-related topics that you'd like me to write about, let me know. I'd be happy to give my perspective.
Talk to you soon.