The Role of Digital Companions in Patients’ Lives

Blog

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 third piece in the series.

 

“This is the best, most helpful app ever. I have brain cancer and can’t remember if or when I took my medication from when I started to use this app. I haven’t missed one pill. Thanks a lot for creating this app, you definitely helped me.” – Medisafe user Theo

With nearly 7MM users on Medisafe, we capture a lot of user feedback about the role our platform plays in helping individuals manage their health. The increase in digital health has led more patients to utilize digital tools for medication management, especially those who are battling a serious illness or living with a chronic condition – representing 81MM patients in the US

In many cases, patients turn to a digital companion as a way to stay connected to their treatment when away from the doctor. For those who take multiple medications or are newly enrolled in a treatment therapy, a digital companion provides a level of guidance and support during a new and uncertain chapter in their lives. 

While digital companions for medical support have only been in use for the past few years, the rise of digital companions to drive engagement have been in use in workplaces and homes for decades. Through that early technology pioneering, and the results that digital companions can drive in productivity, has now been applied to health and medical management. As a result, more drug companies and healthcare organizations are getting behind these platforms to ensure patients receive similar support in their journey.  Medical guidance and support is no longer limited to the physician’s office or the pharmacy counter; patients have the support, instruction, and reinforcement available to them directly through their smartphones. 

The digital companion for medication has advanced significantly over the past few years, now becoming smarter, personalized, and more interactive. AI and machine learning have advanced digital companions to recognize potential challenges in medical therapies before they arise, and deliver the necessary support to ensure continued engagement. And since no two patients are alike, no two patient journeys are alike either – allowing for customization and personalization that enables friends and family to contribute to the platform. 

Drug manufacturers and health organizations also have increased their engagement, creating branded experiences where patients can get interactive support on medical adherence and engage with other users who are receiving treatment for the same condition. Platforms also use aggregate data to better understand patient interaction and usage to tailor support and ensure continued engagement, in an effort to leave no patient behind. This means fewer missed doses, less confusion about when and how to take medication, and real-time answers on conditions and medications to support a user’s lifestyle. In essence, digital companions “digitally” hand hold patients through their treatment.

Digital companions may not be a cure for patients’ conditions nor do they serve as a portal to direct medical care, according to millions of users, they play an essential role in helping users get back to living. At Medisafe, it’s this understanding that helping patients’ manage their health and get back to living is what drives us to create more experiences that lead patients to say “you definitely helped me.”