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The Future of Caregiving: Medication Adherence

June 07, 2017

The Future of Caregiving: Medication Adherence

Properly managing your medications can many times become a challenging chore. Keeping track of each particular prescription, its name, and its specific schedule is often hard to organize, record, and recall. Improper medication adherence is a dangerous, costly, and growing problem in the American healthcare system. There are 187 million Americans prescribed at least one medication. Nearly one-half of this significant population do not take their medications as prescribed (nehi.net).

Losing track of their prescribed drug's special instructions leads to notable increases in the individual's and our country's healthcare spending. On average, a diabetes patient with low medication adherence has an annual expense of $16,499. A diabetes patient with high medication adherence has an annual cost of $8,886. Overall these numbers have been estimated to reach between $100 billion to $300 billion worth of direct and indirect costs.

Besides increased costs, faulty medication management puts patients at a higher risk. The NEHI found that those treating their hypertension, appropriate drug treatment would avoid an estimated 89,000 premature deaths per year. This shocking number reaches 125,000 premature deaths a year from incorrect medication adherence (NIH). Preventing and avoiding these growing risks and costs is essential for the patient's and our healthcare system's future. Technology so far has driven the development of the patient's cutting-edge drugs. Now, technology has started to drive the development of cutting-edge, easy-to-use medication adherence solutions.

Developers and inventors have designed smartphone applications and devices to help you and your loved ones effectively and safely adhere to their medication's prescription.

Medisafe

The free to download smartphone application, Medisafe offers an all in one solution to the nation's medication management problem. Medisafe is easy to download from either the Google Play or Itunes App store. Medisafe offers immediate assistance with managing your schedule, communicating with one's caregiver or doctor, and detailed reporting.

Medisafe application

Medisafe's easy to use patient portal makes recording each drug into your virtual tool box simple. The auto-fill feature and accurate picture of the pill ensure its input correctly. From there, the application offers a brief video describing that medication's dosage details. (These useful, descriptive videos cover roughly 85% of all drugs) Once entered, the application will remind you of when to take your prescription.

If you miss a dose, the application can contact your caregiver or loved one for further assistance. It will even remind you of when you need to refill the prescription. Medisafe offers patients their healthcare provider the opportunity to track their routine by an interactive dashboard. The applications' dashboard can include data from their recent visit and their real-time medication procedure. Also, this information can be summarized into an easy to share document.

Incorporate additional Medisafe accessories to ensure compliance. Medisafe's iConnect is a wireless pill bottle that can physically track the times you opened that specific pill bottle. Medisafe also includes the iCap, an individual pill tracker.
 

Round Health

Founded by two ex-Apple employees, Round Health provides an intuitive and easy to interface with enhanced Round Health Pill Bottledosage reminders. Designed for the iPhone and the Apple Watch, Round Health's reminders ensure that you can not accidentally snooze its alarm. For each required dose, the app's reminders will include at first a visual badge, then a 2nd audible or vibrating reminder, and then a final, third reminder at the end of the designated dosage period.

This dosage window help to ensure that you can take your prescription routinely on your terms. Whether you have your handsful or are briefly away from your pills, you will not run the risk of missing or snoozing that single alert and then moving on to another task and missing your entire dose.

Round Health also has designed an innovative pill bottle that syncs with the application. The bottle works seamlessly with the Round Health app dashboard and its leading reminder system.

 

MyTherapy

The MyTherapy Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker offers the same easy-to-use design, accurate reminders, and full recording but is free. MyTherapy's free pricing is available through its cooperation with pharmaceutical companies and healthcare institutes. These organizations use the app's data to study medication adherence. These partners will not have access to your personal information. For further details about this app's terms of use be sure to check out their terms of use.

It is recommended to double check any medical application's terms of use and privacy policy before beginning use to ensure your private information remains secure. Medical applications typically comply with the same stringent security requirements that your pharmacy or doctor's office wold require. Although each app's privacy policy and terms of use may vary, it is important to choose a provider that meets your expectations.

MedReady 

Medready Automatic DispenserThe MedReady Pill dispenser is an industry leading, easy to use, and safe pill dispenser. Its 28 compartments and up to 4 daily alerts are ideal for planning out one's pills for the future. The MedReady's alarm settings do not require a smartphone or computer (except for the Modem and Cellular models).


Designed to visually and audibly alert the patient when their dose is ready, remain open, and then close following their dosing period. The MedReady will then proceed onto the next compartment preventing dangerous double dosing. Its lockable design ensures compliance and stands in the way of double dosing.

Upgrade the standard MedReady to the MedReady with Cellular Connection or MedReady with Modem Connection connected models to monitor and manage medication schedules remotely effectively. A monthly monitoring fee allows the connected MedReady to notify a caregiver if it loses power, is unable to rotate, or the patient has missed a dose. Caregivers may elect to receive the alerts either, by phone, text, or e-mail. Via MedReady's portal Caregivers may also manage the system's notifications, alarms, records, and settings remotely.

Incorporate any of these applications or devices into your prescription routine. Accurately recording, reporting, and evaluating your regimen with your doctor will increase your overall health and reduce your direct and indirect costs. The NEHI's research on medication adherence's impact for those suffering from a chronic disease highlights its importance. Diabetes patients with poor medication adherenc have a 30 percent risk of hospitalization. And those whose accurately follow prescribed guidelines have a 13 percent chance of admission, 57% less likely to need hospital care. We hope that these solutions offer a dependable and easy to use step towards a healthier lifestyle.




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