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New mobile app assists clinicians in assessing menopausal patients

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The MenoPro app from NAMS also contains a component for patients


 

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A new mobile app for iPhone and iPad enables both clinicians and patients to make decisions about menopausal therapies for moderate to severe hot flashes, night sweats, and/or genitourinary symptoms. The app also aids in assessing the patient’s risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and fracture.

The MenoPro app, developed in association with the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), is available free of charge from Apple. The app is designed to aid in the assessment and management of bothersome menopausal symptoms in women aged 45 and older.

Designed for both clinician and patient
A novel feature of the app is its two modes—one for the clinician and another for the patient. The clinician mode enables risk assessment and decision-making to determine whether hormonal therapy might be indicated and to determine the formulation and dosage of the therapy selected. It also features assessment of the patient’s 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease, her risk of breast cancer using the Gail model, and her fracture risk using the FRAX tool. When hormonal therapies are not appropriate, the app steers the clinician to nonhormonal options.

The patient can make use of the app to learn about her different treatment options, including lifestyle modifications. The app guides her through a self-assessment to gauge how far along she is in the menopausal transition, the severity of her symptoms, and her interest in hormonal or nonhormonal therapy. The app begins by recommending lifestyle changes and behavioral factors that can reduce menopausal symptoms. After a 3-month trial of these modifications, the patient is prompted to visit her health-care provider if further relief is needed.

Only FDA-approved drugs are recommended
“The app is completely up to date in terms of information about the newest medications that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration,” says JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, current chair of the NAMS Scientific Program and a past president of NAMS. Dr. Manson is Chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She also is Professor of Medicine and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School.

“The app focuses on FDA-approved medications, including off-label use of medications that may be commonly prescribed in practice to treat hot flashes, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs),” she says.

“I think another big advantage is that very often clinicians who are managing patients during the menopausal transition or in early menopause may not be thinking that much about cardiovascular risk or even know how to evaluate it or make use of a 10-year risk score. So the app really helps them to become very familiar with the evaluation of cardiovascular risk, breast cancer risk, and fracture risk, and provides them with the resources to make use of the information.”

An algorithm is available within the app
The app is based on an algorithm that can be accessed within the app by choosing the “About” button. Another feature: the clinician can email a summary of the patient’s assessment directly to her, along with links to resources on a variety of relevant topics.

Algorithm available within MenoPro.

“In the future, there is a plan to have the app available for other mobile phones and tablet devices in addition to the iPhone and iPad,” says Dr. Manson. “We also hope to have it incorporated into electronic health records, where it could be used for clinical decision-making within the record.”

The app is not intended to replace clinical judgment, she adds. “I think clinicians are really familiar with the concept that, when you’re using an app, clinical judgment remains paramount. The app is not going to replace the clinician’s own discernment of what is going on with the patient.”

For detailed information, see an article on the app in the journal Menopause, available at http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/professional/our-new-paper.pdf

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