The Case of Digital Health Applications and Products for Medication Adherence.

February 15, 2022 | By Yitzchak David

 

Efficacious medication management has become a focal point for increasing research, development, and funding in both the consumer health and clinical trial spaces. 

The rising need for more objective solutions has gained traction as the concurrent COVID-19 and opioid pandemics continue to unfold. Ongoing research and anecdotal evidence, e.g. first person accounts, continue to suggest interactions with digital health applications and products, such as smart medication bottles and smart phone apps, are tied to increases in medication adherence amongst consumers and patients.

Information Mediary Corp’s (IMC) eCAP™ smart pill bottle and Med-ic® smart medication packages along with the IMC CertiScan 2.0 Adherence Analytics Solution, and AARDEX Group’s MEMS adherence platform, are two of the recent digital health solutions advanced to answer the rising need for more objective data. In a recent interview, during HITLAB’s Virtual Firsts Symposium, Professor Rich Feeley, affiliation, recounted his personal experience with eCAP and his son’s ability to regain control of his life because of his ability track his medication adherence for a chronic health condition. For Dr. Renee Manworren at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern Univeristy, IMC’s eCAP™ smart pill bottle has provided invaluable objective data about the use of opioid medications among adolescent populations. Other researchers, including Dr. Jenny Lin, of the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Dr. Neels Groenewald, of Seattle Children’s Hospital, also echoed similar sentiments from evidence gathered from their own research.

A 2019 medication-adherence study conducted by HITLAB, found approximately 90% of participants reported forgetting to take their medication at some point along their treatment path. Of this, 80% of study participants also reported having missed multiple doses. However, after interacting with the IMC’s eCAP smart pill bottle and companion phone app, CertiScan®, approximately 80% of the study participants found the technology helpful in their daily lives. Additionally, half of the study participants reported that they would recommend the technology to a family or friend. For researchers and public health advocates, insight gained from such efforts points toward broad impacts at local, national, and even global levels.

A large application for such technology, in both consumer health and clinical trials, would provide valuable clues toward population morbidity and mortality rates, such as among cancer patients or people with opioid dependence. Despite this, a consensus still does not exist among researchers, patients, and legislative bodies as to whether a best practice, ethical, regulatory, or legal standard exists. However, a consensus has begun to emerge that medication-adherence technology stands out as a strong intervention toward improving not just individual health, but public health within local and global communities. Therefore, continued engagement with consumers and patients, in both the consumer health and clinical trials spaces, is vital towards its adoption and application.

About the Author

Yitzchak David, is a Research Nurse and Health Tech Enthusiast with interests in Biotechnology and Digital Health. Yitzchak got has a Masters in Health Policy and Management from New York Medical College as well as undergraduate degrees in Political Science from Rutgers University and in Nursing from Farleigh Dickinson University.

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