About half of all Americans are prescribed medication they take regularly. And what's more, half of those don't even take it properly, whether it's forgetting, missing or taking too much of said medication.
One study even estimated that mistakes with blood pressure medication alone are responsible for 89,000 premature deaths each year. This puts medication noncompliance up there in the top five causes of death.
A new app from the MediSafe Project actually makes taking whatever your prescribed medication safer, more efficient and even fun, given the integration of gamification user design into the app. Medisafe is a mobile medication management platform that reminds patients to take their medications via smartphones and tablets, serving to improve medication adherence rates and curb the growing annual health care costs globally.
Think of it as your virtual pillbox that set reminders for when to exactly take your pills, requiring a scan of the medicine's barcode at each dose. If the patient forgets, a family member or friend will get a message as part of the set up of the app.
In the first 8 weeks, MediSafe reported that users checked in 100,000 medication doses and raised their self-reported compliance rate to 81%.
The implications for this technology are very promising. The app now have over 1.5 million global users. Just this April, the company announced they'd be integrating biofeedback into the platform, allowing patients to track and correlate their adherence directly with health outcomes. Patients will be able to visualize in real-time how taking medication or missing a dose impacts important bio metrics such as glucose levels and blood pressure.
For many chronic conditions, Medisafe offers patients early feedback that their efforts are paying off, motivating them to continue taking their medications and undertake other healthy behaviors and lifestyle changes.
The product enhancement enables Medisafe users to securely input or track biometrics such as blood pressure and glucose levels from personal medical devices and apps, such as WiFi-enabled blood pressure cuffs and glucometers.