Managing hepatitis? Now there’s an app for that…

HEP i-chart helps patients monitor potential drug interactions.

Smartphone apps are everywhere these days. The more popular they become, the more they’re used for healthcare applications.

Bupa, for example, has been quick to offer its customers apps: Health Finder and Bupa Fitness are both available for free.

The latest entry in the genre is the University of Liverpool’s HEP i-chart, which allows patients with Hepatitis C to quickly view information about potential drug interactions.

About 170 million people worldwide are infected with Hepatitis C–as many as have HIV. The disease causes inflammation and liver swelling. It can trigger all kinds of nasty (not to mention lethal) conditions, including liver failure.

HEP i-chart is based on a website created by Professors David Back and Saye Khoo. It provides Hepatitis C patients and healthcare professionals with immediate access to up-to-date information on potential drug interactions between Hep C drugs and other substances, whether prescription, over-the-counter, recreational or herbal. Bad drug interactions can often be more dangerous than the disease itself.

That fact that it is a mobile app makes HEP i-chart ideal for expats and frequent travelers, who may not be able to access a website on the go.

Professor Graham Foster, President of the British Association for the Study of the Liver, called the app “a timely and much-needed resource for patients” given the increasing number of drugs used to treat the disease.

HEP i-chart is currently available for Apple and Android smartphones (sadly Blackberry users are out of luck).