With so much to gain from medication adherence, companies and technology innovators are making a play to improve how often, and how well, we take our pills. Smartphone adherence applications are increasing in use, while software and systems aimed at health systems are gaining more traction.
On the smartphone front, medicine and pill reminder applications abound, using text message reminders, calendars and the like to keep patients on track.
While many are familiar with pill organizers, Cardinal Health's InPower™ Wellness System's embedded smart technology more intricately monitors medication adherence.
“Adherence is typically measured by patient refill, insurance claims data or self-reporting, all of which are retrospective," said Brad Tice, director of product strategy and commercialization for Cardinal Health. “InPower measures medicine adherence levels in real-time, so if we see someone has missed a dose, pharmacists, patient support managers, or physicians can reach out to get them back on track."
Currently in pilot stage rollout, the InPower medication dispenser alerts a patient when it's time to take her medications, monitoring the dose level by weight. A cellular connection syncs that information to a pharmacy portal, giving clinicians a view into whether the patient is keeping up with her meds. Moreover, the dispenser can gather information from other wellness devices like blood pressure monitors, weight scales and glucometers, giving deeper insight into the overall health of the patient.
“It's not just about monitoring adherence, but taking it to the next level to monitor biometrics and how that adherence is impacting a patient's health," said Tice.