Millions of people are hospitalized each year due to medication non-adherence - many because they simply just forget to take their pills correctly. Troubled by that statistic, Israeli entrepreneur Omri Shor developed an app that helps patients take their medication properly:
Far more than a reminder program, MediSafe examines patient behavior, keeping tabs on the times of day they take medications, when they go to the doctor, what information they read regarding their condition, who their friends are, and other information, all of which is used to encourage users to take their meds. “For example, in the case of a diabetic, we send them content that is suited to their situation,” said Shor. Some people do better with “scare tactics,” such as urgent missives telling them what the risks are of missing medications, “while others are more interested in scientific studies, so we send them that.”
Reminders can also come from friends – called “med-friends,” in the app’s parlance – with the system choosing which friend a patient is more likely to listen to in which contexts.
The app figures out the ideal times of day to send its reminders, based on how the patient uses their device, such as sending reminders when they are using it and timing the reminder for maximum effectiveness and attention.
The data gets recorded on MediSafe’s servers and is used to further develop the patient’s reminders, and, if permission is granted, is shared with doctors and clinics to provide and update information on patient behavior, producing more accurate data than a patient would report on their own during their monthly or quarterly visits.
Shor said it’s a lot more efficient and safe than relying on a patient’s remembering which pill to take based on a printed list, or even on one of those pill boxes that have the correct doses loaded in individual compartments, which is supposed to guide the user as to which dosages to take when. “It’s not sufficient to rely on the memory or habits of the patient,” said Shor. “That is a recipe for tragedy, because the user can easily forget or make a mistake, especially if they are ill. Even relying on one individual to mind the patient isn’t enough.”
The app is free for iOS and Android devices, and has been downloaded over 1.3 million times, said Shor, with more than 95 million doses recorded on MediSafe’s servers.
Click here for more information on this app.