Snap 'N Dose: An easy-to-use dosage calculator and reminder for children’s medication
Keywords: Dosage calculator, dosage reminder, fever tracker, mobile health technology, children's medication.
Overview of Research
Fever is the most common and concerning reason for which parents bring their children to medical attention, and is often caused by common infections (e.g., a cold). Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra) and Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), are the most commonly-used medications for fever and have severe consequences when overdose occurs, including liver and/or kidney failure, or even death. Unfortunately, these errors occur frequently with greater than 50% of parents making errors when administering OTC medications to their children at home. These errors are often caused by confusion resulting from the fact that OTC medications come in a variety of dosage forms (e.g. tablet and liquid), a wide array of brand and generic names, and single or multi-ingredient formulations. Furthermore, caregivers are exposed to a wide range of dosing instruments and complex and inconsistent package labeling, and are required to convert a weight-based dose to a volume (e.g. milligrams to millilitres), which can be challenging for those with both high and low health literacy. Despite the gravity of this problem, there have been limited studies on how to decrease parental medication administration errors and maximize safety and efficacy. Thus, the goal of Snap ‘n Dose, is to help caregivers administer the appropriate dose of OTC liquid medications to children in a safe and timely manner.
This app was developed with a pediatrician’s insight into the problem of inappropriate dosage (as experienced first-hand) and an intimate understanding of the diverse needs of both clinicians and caregivers. We will continue to ensure that the app utilizes the latest evidence as it relates to patient safety, medication administration and health literacy.
The app allows users to take a picture with their phone of the drug identification number (DIN) on every medicine box or bottle, enter their child's age and weight, and get an easy-to-understand dosage for that particular medication. It can also provide medication reminders and be used to track symptoms such as fever and pain (Fig 1).
Download Snap ‘n Dose app
Coming soon! Please contact Pooja Viswanathan for more information.
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Niraj Mistry, Academic General Pediatric Fellow, BSc, MD, FRCPC (University of Toronto and The Hospital for Sick Children)
Pooja Viswanathan, Post-Doctoral Fellow, BMath, PhD (University of Toronto and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute)
David Xue, MASc Candidate, BASc (University of Toronto)