COMMENTARY

New App Helps Clinicians and Patients Manage Menopause Symptoms

JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH

Disclosures

October 15, 2014

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Hello. This is Dr JoAnn Manson, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. I want to talk with you today about some exciting news from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

NAMS will be releasing a new mobile app for menopausal symptom management and clinical decision-making for hormonal versus nonhormonal therapy options for women.

This is a new clinical decision support tool that is based on an updated algorithm being published this week online in the journal Menopause.[1] All of the details about the algorithm and the app are described in this article. I would like to acknowledge that I am one of the authors of this paper.

This new algorithm and app were designed to help clinicians work together with patients to find the optimal treatment for a woman's menopausal symptoms, using shared decision-making and incorporating a woman's personal preferences and her risk factor status through a process of risk stratification.

The new app can be downloaded free of charge on a mobile phone or tablet device. It is currently designed for iPhones and iPads, but it is expected to be available for other devices and possibly for electronic health record systems in the future. To facilitate the shared decision-making, this new app has two modes, one for clinicians and one for patients.

The app has several unique features, including calculating a 10-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk score for the patient, which can be incorporated into decision-making. It also has links to breast cancer risk scoring and to the fracture risk assessment tool (FRAX) for fracture risk calculation. The app was developed in collaboration with NAMS and includes NAMS educational materials that can be directly emailed to the patient, including NAMS "meno notes" on behavioral and lifestyle modifications to reduce hot flashes; pros and cons of hormonal versus nonhormonal options, and transdermal versus oral hormone therapy; and an information page about options for genitourinary symptoms and their treatments. The app also includes direct links to tables with information about different formulations and doses of the medications, as well as information on contraindications and cautions.

This app was coded by a computer scientist named Jeffrey Ames and has many unusual and unique features, including the two modes (one for healthcare providers and one for patients), access to outstanding NAMS educational resources, the internal CVD risk calculator, and the ability to email a summary of the decision-making process and information pages and handouts to the patient. The patient can also directly access these educational materials via the patient mode of the app.

Please take a look at the online article in Menopause to learn more about the algorithm and the app. We expect the free app to be available for downloading by the end of October, so keep an eye out for that. All of us at NAMS hope you find this new resource helpful in your clinical practice.

Thank you so much for your attention. This is JoAnn Manson.

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