Epocrates alerts docs to potentially harmful drug

By Brian Dolan
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According to a recent report from Wireless Week, Epocrates' mobile application played a pivotal role in getting the word out to physicians that the psoriasis drug Raptiva had been pulled from the market because it may play a role in a potentially fatal brain condition called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

A few hours after the drug was pulled from the market, Epocrates sent an alert to its 225,000 physicians via its mobile and online alert services.

"Wireless technology, like text message alerts, can prompt people to do what they need to anyway: appointments and preventative health," Don Jones, vice president of business development, healthcare, at Qualcomm told Wireless Week. "The business model that will drive this is less altruistic... it can drive health services, which are an economic engine."

"Healthcare tends to change its practices when they think there's been a change in the standard of care - when they think they'll get sued and lose," Jones said. "When 30 percent to 40 percent [of facilities] have adopted a technology, that's the tipping point because they may be perceived as antiquated and get malpractice exposure."

Read the Wireless Week article for more, including quotes from their interview with Scripps Health's Dr. Eric Topol.