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Reaching Out To Rare Disease Patients: Novartis SmartPhone Apps

March 16, 2013

According to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project :

  1. 45% of American adults own a smartphone
  2. 52% of people who own smartphones, gather health information on their smartphones.

In a recent Orphan Druganaut Blog Post, another set of mobile health app statistics from an Infographic from the Healthcare Intelligence Network ( are also impressive :

  1. In September 2011, 17% of cell phone owners used their phone to look for health or medical information online
  2. In September 2012, 31% of cell phone owners used their phone to look for health or medical information online
  3. As of April 2012, among the 84% of smartphone owners, 19% have downloaded health related apps
  4. In 2011, # of global Mobile Health App users is 124 million
  5. In 2012, # of global Mobile Health App users is 247 million.

Thus, with the increase use of smartphones for searching and gathering of health information, pharmaceutical companies  are developing smartphone apps that make it possible to reach out and provide support to both patients and their families affected by a rare disease.

Novartis has developed multiple mobile apps that help both the patient and healthcare professional to record, track, review, and communicate about a rare disease. Novartis Oncology, a division of the Novartis pharmaceutical company, has released a new FREE Apple and Android app :

  1. My NET Manager.

The My NET Manager app is for NeuroEndocrine Tumor (NET) patients to help them learn and manage their condition. The app gives the patient the capability to :

  1. Set reminders for physician appointments, medication management, treatments, and to track and review test results
  2. Store information for patient’s healthcare professionals
  3. Share information with patient’s healthcare professionals
  4. Track health insurance claims.

Novartis Oncology markets orphan drug Afinitor (Everolimus) for the treatment of progressive NET of pancreatic origin in patients with unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic disease. NETs are neoplasms that arise from the cells of the endocrine and nervous systems. They usually occur in the intestine, but can be found also in the lung and rest of the body.

Another FREE Novartis Oncology smartphone app for a rare disease, Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), is the MDS Tracker, which helps the MDS patient track iron and blood transfusions. Novartis markets orphan drug Gleevec (Imatinib) for the treatment of MDS. MDS is a type of cancer that occurs when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow are damaged and results in low numbers of white cells, red cells, or platelets.

Please Note: “BlackBerry Bold 9700” by BF Newpunk (Own work) [Public domain] | Wikimedia Commons.

Copyright © 2012-2013, Orphan Druganaut Blog. All rights reserved.

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