Medication Compliance has always been an issue. The effectiveness of medication is dependent on Age, Body Size, Use of other drugs, Food consumption, Presence of diseases (kidney, liver, etc…), Storage of medication, Development of tolerances and resistances.Because so many factors affect drug responses doctors must choose the appropriate drug for each person and must adjust the dose carefully. Complexities also arise when the patient is taking other medication.Studies have been done but perhaps the largest unknown factor is medication compliance when the user is manually dispensing their own meds from a standard pill bottle. Noncompliance occurs when medications are not taken timely or when medication is over taken. These events virtually destroy the effectiveness of many medications. When the patient visits the doctor, the doctor usually has no data indicating how the medication was taken so many wrong assumptions are made and problems are compounded.
Costs of Noncompliance are extremely difficult to measure and depending on how you want to calculate the direct and indirect costs of noncompliance you can easily get to 1 Trillion dollars per year. Many studies have estimated that > 50% of meds are not taken correctly. This is placing a huge burden on the health care system in general. Hospital admissions and readmission, nursing home admissions, deaths are just a few of the larger expenditures that result with noncompliance. Many of these events are avoidable by simply bringing the patient into a medication compliant protocol. It’s also hard to put a cost on the effort and emotional aspect of the associated family members.
Why are People Noncompliant is an open-ended question that could be debated at length but the fact remains that in general a huge number of people are just noncompliant. The decline of cognitive function within the elderly, distrust, costs, self-diagnosis and many other reasons can be attributed to why people are noncompliant. The fact remains that no matter the reason they all have the same result so we are staying focused on noncompliance.
Do IoT enabled MedReady Automated Medication Dispensers Help Compliance? 48 Million doses of medication have been recorded and we have collected compliance metrics surrounding each dose. Medication dose metrics include scheduled times, alert notifications to caregivers if meds are not taken within a prescribed length of time and if the notifications resulted in the patient ultimately taking their dose. The results are in and they are compiled into 3 numbers:
86% of medications taken within a prescribed amount of time.
10% then took their meds after a caregiver followed up with the patient because of an alert via email/text/automated phone call.
4% missed doses because of any possible reason including being on vacation and leaving their dispenser active, or an actual missed dose so this 4% is subjective as to whether they are really noncompliance doses.
Bottom line is that 96% of doses are being taken.
What Does 96% Medication Compliance using the IoT enabled MedReady Automated Medication Dispenser Mean? Medication adherence issues surrounding noncompliance are dramatically reduced. Doctors can look at medication compliance data they can confidently adjust regimens. Over and Underdosing is virtually eliminated along with all the direct and indirect costs associated with medication noncompliance. Huge savings along with the elimination of the emotional strife trying to manually keep patients and loved one’s medication in compliance.
How Does it Work? Medication is loaded into the dispenser and locked. Alarm times are set. When it’s medication time, the device sounds an audible and visual alert. The patient slides up a medication door which shuts off the alarm and exposes that one dose of medication. The act of sliding the medication door triggers a medication taken event which is sent via the 4G cellular towers to a data center. If the medication door is not slid up the device reports to the data center which notifies caregivers that the medication was not taken yet. Caregivers contact the patient and ask them to take their dose of medication. When the door is finally slid open the servers are notified again that the medication was taken. If the door is never slid open the next alarm will move that current dose out of play and it will be marked missed. Just before the next dose, the medication door will close and the cycle starts again.
What is the potential monetary savings using the IoT enabled MedReady? Because organizations have to develop business cases before implementing change, we will include some cost metrics below but each organization is adversely affected differently by the medication noncompliance epidemic and can usually calculate to what degree it is really costing them. The New York Times reported an “out of control epidemic” in the U.S. that costs more and affects more people in the U.S. than any disease Americans are concerned about right now—and it is 100 percent preventable. The culprit? Medication non-adherence. A review in the Annals of Internal Medicine estimates that a lack of adherence causes nearly 125,000 deaths, 10 percent of hospitalizations and costs the already strained healthcare system between $100–$289 billion a year. In addition, “Losses in productivity due to health-related factors could multiply that by 2-3 times.”
White paper created by: Grant Stephanoff, MedReady Inc. Torrance, CA 90501 firstname.lastname@example.org 310.328.7557 (October 10, 2023)