Recent statistics indicate that there are 20.5 million smartphone users in Nigeria – a number that is expected to reach 23.3 million come 2019. App developers worldwide have taken advantage of this trend, designing apps that range from fun and entertaining to useful and practical. Useful and practical apps come in many forms and users can find anything from ‘train your brain’ exercises to learning new languages. Furthermore, health-related apps, such as those helping users stay fit or lose weight, have become a prominent feature in app stores, and it is estimated that there are currently around 260 000 available health-related apps. Included in this number are apps that specifically – and importantly – target medication adherence.
It is common knowledge that medication adherence is a massive challenge facing Africa, with millions and millions of Africans dying annually due to a lack of taking medication responsibly and effectively. Hypertension, HIV, and AIDS are among the most prevalent conditions in Nigeria – and ones that can be treated or managed if patients adhere to their treatment plans strictly.
An app that can effectively help Nigerians adhere to their medication is MyTherapy. The app, which is available for free on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, currently has over 500 000 users and has improved its users’ medication adherence by 45%.
MyTherapy comes with a variety of easy-to-use features that help users manage their disease, improve their lifestyle, and set health goals. Users can record measurements such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight; track their symptoms, and record important information related to their health. The app is for anyone taking medication regularly for any length of time and it is designed to help users manage complex treatment plans. All users have to do is enter their medication either manually or via the app’s built-in database and choose the times they need to take their meds; the app will remind users to take their meds until they have done so via an alarm and a pop-up notification. Furthermore, users can set daily health and fitness goals to improve their overall well-being.
The app is completely free – there are no hidden costs, in-app purchases, or adverts. Furthermore, users are given an overview of their progress at the end of the month, which doctors can then use to see how their patients are doing. This ensures that both doctors and patients get maximum benefit out of treatment plans.
Many chronic diseases are easily manageable if medication is taken correctly – and MyTherapy is specifically designed to help with that. Using the app means preventing relapses and worsening symptoms, managing side-effects, and improving overall wellbeing. It is an important app to use, especially within in African context, as it can improve the overall wellbeing of the continent, thereby minimising the burden on healthcare systems and the economy.