Diagnosis is Just The Beginning

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Digitizing Health – The Future is Now
Mediafe is launching a new blog series focusing on the role of digital health and its pivot point leading to greater adoption and future applications to enhance patients’ lives. This is the second piece in the series.

According to the WHO 40% of patients don’t complete their full medical treatment. This is often the result of patients feeling like medication isn’t working, has already run its full course, or is suffering from side-effect complications or in combination with other medications. Additionally, 50% of people miss one or more doses of a medication, which can lead to stopping use altogether. Many patients may be confused about how to restart their medication after missing a dose, and often forego treatment altogether. This abrupt change in medication can lead to major complications and limits a full impact medication can have on patient outcomes. 

But patients don’t want to stop their medication nor do they find it ineffective, they are uninformed about the totality of their treatment. At the time of diagnosis, a physician prescribes a medication and briefly reviews how the medication will work. This includes side effects and instructions on how to take the medication. All of this information is presented at the same time as the diagnosis, and patients are simply trying to comprehend how this new information will impact their lives. It becomes an immense amount of information presented in a very brief time. 

Similarly, a pharmacist may or may not review how to take the medication, but the experience is largely transactional. And as more patients move to mail-order pharmacies, the interaction is non-existent. This leaves patients to fend for themselves, without guidance and support throughout the treatment journey. 

This is something that Medisafe recognized long ago. That treatment doesn’t end with a prescription. In fact, diagnosis is just the beginning. As patients begin treatment therapy, there are a whole host of issues and questions that arise as patients manage their health. With the advance of the digital age, we have seen patients turn to their smartphones for help. Today, guidance exists in the form of digital companions. Digital companions use smartphones as a patient-preferred platform to deliver step-by-step guidance on how, when, where, and in what manner to take medication. It bridges the gap between the doctor’s office and the pharmacy, with guidance from providers and clinicians. 

We also recognize that no two patients are alike, and likewise, their treatment journey is very different. This recognition means support and guidance will be different as well. One patient may have issues with financial means while another may face medication complications. Instead of engaging a physician or pharmacist for hundreds of issues, a digital companion puts all of these elements together in a single platform to help patients walk-through and manage as they arise. 

Through education and support, digital companions help to create greater awareness, build trust in their physician and treatment plan, and ultimately help to drive medication adherence. In fact, patients who utilize a digital companion in their drug therapy show a 70% increase in medication adherence. This use doesn’t alter the treatment plan, nor does it have a role in the medication itself, but provides the necessary assistance, navigation, and tools that are missing when patients are forced to go it alone. It’s medical care for the modern age – with support and care in the palm of your hand.