Recognising the increase in the sale of counterfeit medication in Africa, Victoria Acheampong, Hayford Brako and Yannick Kabu Bosomprah, developed MedRX, a mobile health application which aims to assist patients identify fake prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Africa has been plagued by the issue of drug accessibility and the influx of counterfeit drugs has led to a number of deaths; MedRx will help curb this problem facing Africans, says the trio from Ghana.
Hayford Brako who is the founder and brain behind the app, says counterfeit drugs may contain inappropriate quantities of active ingredients, or they may contain ingredients that are not on the label, these may be improperly processed within the body, leading to illness or even death.
“By typing in the name of your medicine, the app will provide information of the genuine drugs, which includes the generic versions. Drug manufacturers and distributors are increasingly investing in counter-measures such as traceability and authentication technologies, to try and minimise the impact of counterfeit drugs,” explains Brako.
The mobile application, which is downloadable via iOS and Android app stores, is also interfaced with an interactive health platform which connects users to health personnel from various fields of practice including hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories and academia.
“It’s like having a pharmacy on your phone and having consistent access to medical information,” says pharmacist Victoria Acheampong, who takes care of the pharmacy operations on the back end of the app.
Apart from connecting users to health personnel, the interactive platform also allows them to ask health related questions and get responses from verified health professionals, says Acheampong.
“The questions and answers are displayed in reverse-chronological order. At the top right corner is the “ask” button which allows you to post a question either as yourself or under an anonymous profile, in 200 characters or less,” she adds.
She points out the health facilities tab is subdivided into pharmacies, hospitals, academia while the health personnel tab is subdivided into doctors, pharmacists, therapists, psychologists, and more.
As a team we wanted to make the integral connection easier between medical resources and the people on the ground, and the MedRX application does just that, she notes.
The app was recently introduced to the Ghanian market and it has been accepted by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana.
It was put to test two weeks ago when it scooped the MTN-Jumia entrepreneurship challenge which was held in Cape Town, South Africa. The App was adjudged the overall winner of the competition.
“The success of the app at the challenge shows the status it has harnessed and the positive response from the public have been inspiring.
“The implementation of our platform will give us the opportunity to be more effective in our country and create positive change, we truly hope that this is the beginning of a very bright future for us,” concludes Brako.