Ora Pharm has launched a free app to help patients use medicinal cannabis safely and effectively and develop healthy habits to support overall wellbeing.
The Ora Pharm App lets patients track their medications, dosing information, symptoms, mental wellbeing, and other health and lifestyle factors using their smartphone.
Patients around New Zealand are using medicinal cannabis and CBD for a wide range of health conditions and issues.
But there’s very little ongoing support for patients once they leave the doctor’s practice, pick up their prescription, and head home.
That’s why we created the Ora Pharm App — to provide medicinal cannabis patients with daily support, feedback, accountability, and personalised health data in an easy-to-use mobile app.
You can even choose to share your health data with your doctor in real-time so they can help optimise your treatment plan.
By empowering patients and equipping them with tools and information to take control of their wellbeing, we can help improve health outcomes for medicinal cannabis patients.
If you’re using medical cannabis — or you’re thinking about it — the Ora Pharm App is designed to support you on your journey back to better health.
What is the Ora Pharm App?
The Ora Pharm App is a self-care companion for medicinal cannabis users.
It’s believed to be New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis app, helping to fill an important gap in the healthcare system.
The app is packed with features that help you track key metrics related to your physical and mental wellbeing.
By tracking your health journey consistently, you can form a clear picture of how different medications, dosages, wellness practices, and other lifestyle factors make you feel.
You can then use this information to optimise your treatment plan and lifestyle and, ideally, fast-track your way back to better health.
“Apps and mobile technology have major benefits for the healthcare system and patients. Health apps empower patients, giving them greater control of, and involvement in, their own conditions. They also improve access to education and understanding of medical conditions, helping patients and doctors to make informed healthcare decisions.” – Dr Roger Negrete, Ora Pharm Research and Medical Officer
Let’s take a look at some of the key features of the Ora Pharm App.
Manage your medication and monitor symptoms
When you get a medicinal cannabis prescription from your doctor, you can add that medication and your prescribed dosage into the app.
When you take your medication, you can use the app to record key symptoms and wellness metrics, such as stress, fatigue, pain, and nausea, on a scale of 1-10.
A timer will then measure how long it takes for you to feel the effects of the medication, at which point you can record your symptoms and wellness metrics again.
Over time, this will provide you with a clear idea of how your medication and dosage affect your symptoms.
You and your doctor can use this data to make informed decisions about your treatment, which can help to improve your quality of life and reduce adverse side effects.
Using the Ora Pharm App, you can find the medicinal cannabis product and dosage that works best for you and start feeling better, faster.
You can also track other medications you’re taking to understand how they interact with medical cannabis and affect your wellbeing.
Build healthy habits (and stick to them)
We all know that medication is only one aspect of improving health, albeit an important one.
Good health is also built upon good habits and lifestyle choices.
With the Ora Pharm App, you can choose to track your sleep, weight, mood, wellness practices (meditation, yoga, diet, exercise, leisure activities), and other health metrics — whatever is important to your holistic wellbeing.
The app helps to keep you on track with daily prompts and reminders and allows you to see which habits and lifestyle changes are having the most positive (or negative) impact on your health.
Building momentum, achieving your goals, and seeing your health improve before your eyes provides you with a daily dose of motivation to keep going.
The Ora Pharm App can connect with the Apple or Google health apps on your smartphone.
Share information with your doctor
You have the option of sharing all of your health data with your doctor with the secure patient-doctor portal.
With the Ora Pharm App, your doctor can see exactly how you’re responding to different medications, dosages, and lifestyle changes over time.
This will help them to make informed decisions about your treatment and reduce the need for in-person appointments.
The app can help busy doctors reduce their workload significantly, and help you receive more tailored care and support.
It’s a win-win.
Please note: Your doctor will need to set-up the portal in order for you to share data with them.
Receive support and guidance along the way
The journey back to better health is rarely easy. Everyone faces unique challenges and we all have different levels of support along the way.
While the Ora Pharm App is designed to give you greater control and independence, we recognise that everyone can benefit from extra support.
That’s why the app comes with a built-in counselling program that contains strategies, support, and guided exercises proven to develop resilience, improve coping, and reduce feelings of anxiety and isolation.
The program is delivered via short videos on topics such as habits, rest and recovery, breathing exercises, identity, and controlling your thoughts.
The app also has a journal tool that you can use to record your daily experiences and process your thoughts, feelings, struggles, and triumphs.
Who can use Ora Pharm’s medicinal cannabis app?
The Ora Pharm App is specifically designed for medicinal cannabis users.
Medical cannabis is relatively new in New Zealand and we felt there was a need to provide better support and education for the patients and doctors who are using and prescribing it.
However, the app could be used by anyone who’s interested in tracking their health journey.
If you’re wanting to take a holistic approach to your healthcare and self-care, you may find the tools and features in the Ora Pharm App help you stay on track and achieve your goals.
What are the benefits of health tracking apps?
Health tracking apps, like the Ora Pharm App, have many potential benefits for patients, doctors, and the healthcare system.
Studies have found that apps can help to improve motivation, health behaviour, and health outcomes.
‘Massive potential’ in improving patients’ health
A study from Cornell University in the United States found that healthcare apps, similar to the Ora Pharm App, can lead to improved health outcomes.
The study, published in February 2021, found diabetes patients who used a health tracking app became more autonomous and motivated in self-regulating their health behaviour, and more engaged and consistent in their lifestyle and wellness behaviour within 15 months.
The study also found that patients who used the app did more exercise, consumed healthier food, walked more steps, and slept longer. They also were more likely to substitute offline visits to the doctor with online communication.
The authors said mobile healthcare apps have “massive potential” in achieving better healthcare outcomes and their methodologies and insights could be generalised to other chronic disease and wellness contexts.
“Our results suggest that mHealth technology can help patients become more autonomously self-regulated with their health behaviour. Such increasing intrinsic motivation can help patients become more engaged, persistent and stable in their health activities, leading to long-term behavioural modifications towards a healthier dietary and life style, which ultimately leads to an improvement in their health outcomes.” – Study authors
App ‘significantly associated with improved health outcomes’
A study, published in the Journal of Hypertension in 2021, found that using a mobile health app helped improve health outcomes in hypertension (high blood pressure) patients.
The use of a mobile health app was associated with a significant reduction in blood pressure for both average patients and high-severity patients.
The study also found using an app can improve patient-provider coordination and “significantly improve quality of care”.
Patient monitoring apps may reduce doctors’ workloads
A study in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic found that using an app-based patient monitoring system, similar to the Ora Pharm App, helped to reduce doctors’ workload significantly.
The study found that introducing an app to supplement existing care pathways reduced the amount of time a clinician spends on managing patients by about 60%.
“Digital, app-based solutions have historically shown large economic benefits with the additional potential for large-scale clinical benefit. They allow for greater reallocation of resources in terms of clinical personnel work distribution, allowing health professionals to better manage their already overburdened schedules.” – Study authors
The study is small and may not be generalisable across the health sector, but the authors say the findings warrant further research.
The Ora Pharm App: Medicinal cannabis with confidence
The main purpose of the Ora Pharm App is to support patients to use medicinal cannabis safely, effectively, and confidently.
But the app may also help doctors to reduce their workload and improve quality of care, resulting in better health outcomes for patients.
If you think the Ora Pharm App may help you, a friend or loved one, or patient, you can download it for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play today.
For more information on the Ora Pharm App, go here.