The Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) at the National Institute of Health has developed a free mobile app for consumers called My Dietary Supplements (MyDS).MyDS gives the user an easy, portable way to keep track of the vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other products they take; access to science-based, reliable information on dietary supplements; and general information about ODS—who we are and what we do.
Why We Did It
A majority of Americans take dietary supplements in an effort to be well and to stay healthy. However, many fail to share information about their supplement use with their health care providers and may not know that there is a real potential for interactions between dietary supplements and prescription medications. We developed MyDS to improve the communication between patients and health care providers and to provide consumers with our science-based, reliable information about dietary supplements.
What We Did
MyDS allows the user to track information about the products that they take so that they can easily and accurately share this information with their health care provider. It also provides mobile access to science-based information on dietary supplements and a link to the full ODS web site. MyDS version 1 for the Apple iPhone was launched in the Apple iTunes store in October 2010. Version 1.1 was released six weeks later and included a version specific to the iPad. Version 2 of MyDS, which became available in March 2012, is a Web app that is available on more platforms including Android, Apple, and Blackberry touch devices and select desktop browsers (Apple Safari and Google Chrome). It looks and acts like a native app, but was designed and coded to work on the Web browser.
How It Worked
MyDS 2.0 is accessible to many more consumers and ensures they have access to their MyDS profile anytime and anywhere. Specific benefits include:
- Consumers can access current information on dietary supplements from ODS, because MyDS content is updated instantly.
- Consumers enter their information once and can sync it across their mobile devices.
- MyDS is accessible offline when an Internet connection is not available, such as in a doctor’s office.
- Consumers can email their MyDS profile to their health care providers.
- MyDS is Section 508 compliant making it accessible to visually impaired consumers.
- MyDS can be quickly converted to other languages.
What We Learned
How to design and build solutions to adapt and evolve to the changing technological landscape. MyDS version 2.0 is a one-solution mobile Web app that works on multiple platforms and devices
MyDS Spanish is in development.