Mission Pharmacal Puts the "ABCs of Kidney Stones" in the Physician's Pocket with New Mobile App

Popular medical management tool is now available on iPads and iPhones.

Jan 21, 2014, 11:58 ET from Mission Pharmacal Company

SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than a decade, physicians have turned to the highly regarded "ABCs of Medical Management of Stones" booklet for a simple, step-by-step approach to the diagnosis and treatment of nephrolithiasis (kidney stones). Mission Pharmacal Company that sponsored the app's development, announces that this respected education tool is now available as an easy-to-access, easy-to-use mobile application for Apple devices.

"The ABCs of Kidney Stones app may simplify an otherwise complicated diagnosis, guiding the physician through the process using a standard protocol that differentiates between first-time and recurrent stone formers," says Dan Crawford, Marketing Director of the Urological Division of Mission Pharmacal Company. "The app provides an interactive and updated version of the popular ABCs literature, which was developed and co-authored by some of the most respected and recognized thought leaders in the management of kidney stones. Their reputations alone add tremendous credibility to this app."

The ABCs of Medical Management of Stones, now in its 2nd edition, was recently updated by
co-authors Margaret S. Pearle, MD, Glenn M. Preminger, MD, David S. Goldfarb, MD, and Donald
P. Griffith, MD, with additional input from Charles Y.C. Pak, MD, for physicians who were looking for an efficient way to manage the complexities of stone disease. "First with the booklet, and now with the app, the ABCs make the doctors' job easier. The app will get the ABCs into the hands and pockets of younger physicians or those who prefer to get information electronically," says Crawford.

The app will also allow physicians to show videos to their patients during a visit with topics including how a kidney stone is formed. Its easy-to-follow format allows physicians to make the most of the limited time they have with patients, interacting and educating them, rather than searching for information.  

"The app is very intuitive, which is especially helpful to physicians who aren't that familiar
with kidney stone management, so they can more accurately make a diagnosis," adds
Glenn M. Preminger, MD, James F. Glenn, MD, Professor of Urologic Surgery and Director
of the Comprehensive Kidney Center at Duke University Medical Center.

"Over the years, we have utilized a number of education tools, and have found that this
step-by-step approach is the one that physicians appreciate the most. The physician is guided through a complex process by answering simple questions. The ABCs of Medical Stone Management is an efficient and logical diagnostic tool," says Dr. Preminger.

When using the app to make a diagnosis, for example, the physician will select certain criteria, such as whether or not the patient has just experienced their first stone episode or has risk factors for stone disease. These considerations determine the best therapy, from a conservative approach of increasing fluid intake, limiting dietary sodium or making other dietary changes, to taking medication if lifestyle changes don't work.

The goal is always enhanced patient compliance, which is why the original ABC physician guide was followed by an equally popular patient handbook, "The ABCs of Kidney Stone: A Patient's Guide to Help Prevent Recurrent Kidney Stones."

"The best time to talk to patients about kidney stone disease is when the experience of having one is still fresh in their minds," adds Donald P. Griffith, MD, Professor, Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

"We need to get to patients with education and guidance when they are most receptive to hearing it and willing to make the changes necessary to prevent a stone recurrence. Of course, we wish we had hours to spend with every patient. Since our time is limited, it's great to have an app to educate them with simple instructions and illustrations. Preventing stone recurrence is a top priority and that requires the patients' collaboration."

Every year, more than a million people seek emergency medical treatment for kidney stones, and that number is growing. This may be the result of more people having risk factors for stone disease, including metabolic syndrome and obesity. Between 30 and 50 percent of first-time stone formers will form a second stone within five years of their initial episode. The average rate of stone recurrence may be as high as one stone every two to three years.  

"We want to get the ABCs into the hands of as many physicians as we can. The app will help us reach younger physicians who rely on their tablets and smartphones," explains David S. Goldfarb, MD, Professor of Medicine and Physiology at NYU Langone Medical Center.  

"Nephrolithiasis is a preventable disease associated with a great deal of pain, suffering, and cost," he adds. "If we can get this information to more physicians by offering it in such a convenient format, we can help more people avoid recurrent stones."

The ABCs of Medical Management of Stones was initially released on iTunes for use on Apple devices because at least 60 percent of physicians now use an iPad tablet in their practices. The app will be released for use on an Android platform in coming months. 

Mission Pharmacal expects to release the patient education booklet as an app in the future. "Both the current, physician-driven app, and our plans for a patient app in the future, keep in line with Mission Pharmacal's longstanding dedication to helping diagnose and treat kidney stone formation," says Crawford. 

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