Adhering to a medicinal regimen is an issue that we’ve been trying to tackle since the inception of Medminder and in turn the Maya unit. Medication noncompliance, or the act of not taking your medicine (either all the time or at the right time), is a very real issue that results in greater levels of hospitalization and death. To get the idea of how “real” the medication noncompliance problem is, I feel it is best to quote some very real statistics.
Each year, 125,000 people die due to medicinal noncompliance.
It almost sounds like a scare tactic, but it is one hundred percent true. Every year, 125,000 people would still be alive if they were able to stick to their regimen and take the medicine prescribed to them for whatever condition they may have. In order to combat this, many healthcare professionals and their reflective organizations are beginning to experiment with new tactics in order to combat the very real issue of medical non-compliance.
“Physicians working in the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania have electronic access to their patients’ prescription refill records from the previous month as part of a pilot program launched in February.” This puts a smile on our faces at Medminder because it shows that healthcare professionals are not only seeing the value in the new remote-monitoring medical technology, but also because it shows their willingness to shift paradigms into a new era of medical thought.
It reminds me of another similar technological advance, the invention of plastic. When the medical community realized the tangible benefits plastic could provide, they began adopting it across the nation. As a result, the United States currently has the lowest rate of cross-staph infections in the world, directly correlated to its use of plastics in the field of medicine. In a way, plastic was a bridge to an entirely new era in medical technology, because it allowed for the development of small, portable, low-production-cost medical devices such as pacemakers, oxygen delivery systems, and even (big smile) automated pillboxes.
Unless the industry continues the trend of utilizing new medical technology, patients will continue to fail to follow their regimen, continue with their medication noncompliance, and continue to have health issues because of it. Did you know that patients with chronic conditions that require adherence to a regimen are still not compliant around fifty percent of the time. That is astounding to us. The technology is there, people just need to shift paradigms and start to adopt it.
To close, we will first share a very relevant quote from Niteesh Choudhry, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We don’t need to pay to get a new drug developed or a new therapy prescribed. We just have to find a way to get people to take the medications they’ve already been prescribed.”
What makes it easier for you to take your medicine? Do you have any tricks you use to remember to adhere?