Our mission is to empower patients to take control over their medication adherence, wherever they are, together with whoever they want
It has been estimated that medication non-adherence, i.e., not taking medication as prescribed, is associated with almost 200,000 deaths annually in the European Union (EU). From an economic perspective, non-adherence is responsible for €80–125 billion of potentially preventable direct (e.g., hospitalizations, waste of medication) and indirect (e.g., work productivity losses) costs in the EU. This problem is so severe that “effective ways to help people follow medical treatments could have far larger effects on health than any treatment itself”. Research has shown that medication adherence can be a struggle for anybody who takes prescribed medication. But who is more likely to get support with medication adherence; a patient with polypharmacy, which is when you take more than five prescribed medications, or a person with only one or two prescribed medications? The answer to this question sounds obvious; it is the patient with polypharmacy. Our competitors agree with this line of thinking. However, this leads to the other group being overlooked. To get help with controlling your medication adherence in the Netherlands you have to go through a bureaucracy. You need to fulfil all kinds of criteria, for example, having polypharmacy, getting home care, or having dementia. A common misconception is that people with only a few prescribed medications can help themselves and that they do not need any help with adherence. This could not be further from the truth. In our research, we have found that 95% of people sometimes struggle with adherence, and adherence among patients suffering from chronic diseases averages only 50% .
The smart dispenser will be fully portable and feature reminder hardware, which is fully customisable by the user, or a caregiver, through a smartphone app. The user can input their medication schedule and edit it at any time. Because the smart dispenser is a single-pill solution, it will keep track of the exact amount of pills, and communicate this with the app. This allows the user to track their medication statistics, a form of Electronic Monitoring Feedback, which has been proven to improve medication adherence by 19,8%. Our app makes sure the patient is actively engaged in their medication adherence. Interviews with doctors have shown us that many medication adherence problems are due to a lack of understanding by the patient about what their medicines do, and the importance of taking them. Extra information about the medicines they are taking and what they should do when they feel certain side effects can greatly improve communication with doctors and allow patients and doctors to personalise the intake schedule together.