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French startup creates app to show personalised medicine side effects

The app, from a Bordeaux doctor-entrepreneur team, aims to ‘enable everyone to access reliable and personalised information on medicines’

A man uses a smartphone next to a pile of tablets and a glass of water

The Goodmed smartphone app aims to show all possible side-effects for a particular medication, personalised to the user Pic: Ground Picture / Shutterstock

A free app created by French doctors is enabling users to see personalised information on the possible side effects of the medicines they may be taking.

The Goodmed app was created by Bordeaux startup Synapse Medicine, whose team is made up of doctor-entrepreneurs.

It aims to improve the use of medicines by patients and professional doctors, and make all parties more aware of the possible risks of each. It fills a “technological gap in a major public health issue”, the creators said.

Louis Létinier, medical director and co-founder of the app, said: "The aim is to enable everyone to access reliable and personalised information on medicines.” 

The app is available for free on both iOS (Iphone) and Android. Users must enter personal details such as their name, age, medical history, allergies, current medication, treatment programmes, and whether they have any chronic illnesses.

The platform aims to make medical information easy to understand for non-doctors, and uses a simple colour code based on augmented reality technology. Users can take a photo of a box of medicine, and the colour red will appear if it could be dangerous, or green if there is little to no risk.

It also aims to personalise the information, and considers the user’s personal medical details and current prescriptions to offer precise details.

It provides the complete safety notice for each medicine, advice on its use and dosage, precautions to take, and side effects to watch out for if used.

Goodmed also offers users the option to contact health professionals to request more information on whether a medicine could be dangerous for them specifically, especially those that can be obtained without a prescription. It works on all medicines available in France.

The app has been compiled using know-how from the doctors and pharmacists at Synapse Medicine, as well as official document sources including from the national drug safety agency l’Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé (ANSM). 

It has around 30,000 users in the country. There is also a paid-for version that enables users to group several profiles on the same account.

It comes after a recent study found that more than 200,000 people in France are hospitalised each year due to unwanted side-effects of medicines. 

The study showed that in 2018 – the most recent year of reference – a total of 212,500 people were hospitalised for this reason, compared to 144,000 in 2007. This equates to a rise of 47% in 10 years.

Today, more than 8% of hospitalisations are due to severe, unwanted drug side effects.

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