Tag Archive for: medication adherence

Turns out you have to take the drug for it to work…

Everett C. Koop once said: “drugs don’t work in patients that don’t take them”… wise words…

I think medication noncompliance has several factors involved.

Sometimes it’s as simple as forgetting when and how to take a medication. This is the simplest form of noncompliance to fix. Text messages, watches, reminder alarms, touch-enabled pop-ups, phone calls, etc. can all be used to remind the user that would like to be compliant to take medications on-time and correctly. Pretty easy and not rocket science, nor are many of these technology fixes new by any means.
Other times there are other reasons for noncompliance including:
– patient doesn’t think they need the drugs
– adverse side effects (drug made them have to get up too many times during the night to go to the bathroom, acid reflux, dizziness, etc.)
– lack of transportation to get the refill
– lack of monies to get the refill

The trouble doesn’t necessarily fall with reminding someone to take medications, although, that certainly may be half the battle and the noncompliance issues resolved with that is well worth it. The other factors listed above are the ones that we need to know and it’s not so simple as to know if the patient didn’t take the drug, but so much more importantly it’s WHY….WHY didn’t they take the drug?

If we don’t know why, we cannot fix the problem. If they don’t think they need it, this should be addressed by family members and potentially a physician. Perhaps it could be as simple to remind the patient that this drug is meant to lower your blood pressure or perhaps this drug is to alleviate arthritis pain. If it’s a transportation issue, simply reminding the patient to take the drug will not help. If it’s a side effect issue, we need to intervene and find out if there is an antidote to the issue. For example, if a patient experienced stomach issues, prescribing an antacid along with the prescription could fix the problem and make that patient compliant. If it’s a financial issue, maybe we can get a social service involved. Again, a simple reminder will not the total solution.

We need technology tools that can enable a resident to not only “decline” a medication, but also indicate why so we have a chance at solving the issue at hand. I think there is so much emphasis on only knowing if the meds were taken or not, but we don’t take that extra step to figure out the ANSWER to noncompliance. More intuitive, interactive technology engaging the resident to remind them how and why to take the medication AND enable them to say why they are noncompliant.

Walgreens, CVS…you should be all over this!!

Breaking News – – Reminding people to do stuff, helps make them do stuff…

I always am happy to read articles with yet more proof that we are all exactly in the right industry and on the right track! Medication Compliance is one of the leading drivers to assisted living. Any months that we can save of supervised care can save thousands of dollars. We must, as a country, embrace enabling remote monitoring technologies to save money, encourage independence and prompt health/wellness and good decision making.  We use technologies every day (I certainly use an alarm clock to get up in the morning) and my google calendar sends me text message reminders about my appointments so I don’t miss them. All we need to do is provide this information to the seniors and individuals that need these prompts/reminders in an effective and user-friendly format.  It sounds like Memotext has hit the nail on the head!

GrandCare Systems is also working towards this common goal, to help individuals help themselves.  To maintain independence, encourage healthy choices and keep them socially connected to family (video chat, emails, reminders, calendar appts, pictures, videos, music, games, etc.) in a user-friendly format (no computer skills necessary).
GrandCare can prompt a Loved One (via their TV screen or telephone) to take meds, eat, take vitals (BP, Weight, Pulseox, glucose), perform activities, etc. and also alerts family members if certain parameters were met (meds not accessed, door opened during the night, excessive motion, wandering motion, someone didn’t return to bed during the night, vitals were not taken, etc.).

Thanks Mobihealth News and Memotext for the below article: http://mobihealthnews.com/11146/automated-dosing-reminder-study-finds-increased-adherence/

Automated med reminders boost adherence

By: Brian Dolan | Jun 8, 2011 12:34pm EST
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Amos Adler, President, MemotextAmos Adler, President, Memotext

Glaucoma, the world’s second leading cause of blindness, has a number of effective therapies to help those afflicted. Despite these solutions, non-adherence rates for those treatments are reported to be between thirty-seven and fifty-nine percent. Luckily, mobile health professionals are working on ways to solve this issue. One such company, Memotext, has been developing adherence technologies and may have proof that its solution will improve those statistics.

Memotext and Microsoft’s recent study (funded by Microsoft and conducted by Johns Hopkins University) measured the efficacy of using the Memotext adherence solution combined with Microsoft’s personal health tracking platform HealthVault. Patients received some combination of text message reminders and IVR messages to remind them about their medication regimen.

When patients used the combined technologies, researchers found adherence to daily glaucoma therapy increased from fifty-one to sixty-seven percent. The control group, with no intervention, saw no change in adherence. The preliminary results from the automated dosing reminder study, which followed 429 patients, were presented at the March 2011 annual meeting of the American Glaucoma Society, as well as at the 2011 Mobile Health conference held in May at Stanford.

Of course, glaucoma isn’t the only disease where patients need help adhering to therapies. According to a recent study by Express Scripts, Americans might be wasting as much as $258 billion annually by not taking their prescribed medications. Another study, by NEHI, found that poor adherence is causing problems that cost $290 billion in unnecessary spending each year.

Last week, MobiHealthNews reported that two members of Congress introduced bills to allow Medicare reimbursement for more increased adherence solutions like text message reminders.

For more on Memotext’s study, read the full release: http://mobihealthnews.com/11146/automated-dosing-reminder-study-finds-increased-adherence/




Two hi-touch technology providers, GrandCare & VRI, join forces and link their services to keep Seniors in their own homes

Two hi-touch technology providers, GrandCare & VRI, join forces and link their services to keep Seniors in their own homes

Dayton, OH, West Bend, WI – VRI, a medical alert, medication adherence and telehealth monitoring company, and GrandCare Systems, a provider of in home socialization, entertainment and wellness sensor technologies, announced today that they have developed a partnership to deliver an integrated portfolio of services. Now, GrandCare System care partners will be notified on GrandCare’s easy to use online interface when their loved one has activated their personal response system. In addition, VRI and GrandCare will be able to cross sell their integrated solution into their respective distribution channels.

“This was a natural partnership”, commented Andy Schoonover, President of VRI, “Both organizations are committed to safety and wellness, while giving the family members an unmatched ‘peace of mind’.

Laura Mitchell from GrandCare Systems added, “We know how difficult this whole process can be. We just hope we can help to make the family’s lifestyle easier, happier and more affordable”.

“It’s through partnerships such as these that innovation for elder-focused technologies will be accelerated”, said Peter Radsliff, chairman of the Aging Technology Alliance, an industry association developed to foster awareness of products and services geared toward the aging population. “Stimulating cooperation is why AgeTek was formed from the outset.”

“Blending our services can add a strong measure of comfort, convenience and control to those that desire to age in place but have conditions that may limit their ability to move freely, communicate effectively or otherwise navigate their environment”, said Steve Abate of VRI. “Partnering will ensure and encourage Seniors the opportunity to remain at home with safety and peace of mind.”

VRI is a healthcare services company with over 20 years of experience and is one of the largest providers of medical alert and monitored medication dispensing systems in the country. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, VRI’s services enable seniors and those with disabilities to maintain their independence and avoid long term care facilities and hospitalization. The company’s service portfolio includes Medical Alert Systems, Monitored Medication Dispensers, Telehealth services and other specialty solutions to provide safety and independence for their clients. For more information, or to see the range of VRI’s products please visit www.monitoringcare.com.

GrandCare Systems offers a new WINDOW into the online world using a simple-to-use virtually programmed TouchScreen. The Loved One simply enjoys and interacts with the incoming pictures, messages, 2-way web chat, family videos, games, reminders, calendar appts, news headlines, etc. – all maintained remotely by care-partners through a user-friendly online interface. But that’s just the “tip of the iceberg”. Smart “activity of daily living” and Tele-wellness sensors quietly talk to the Trillium TouchScreen and generate text, email or phone alerts to designated care-partners.