Smartphones could solve medication nonadherence

According to GlobalData, smartphone adherence apps could solve medication nonadherence of patients with chronic diseases

Long-term adherence to medication is critical when it comes down to successfully treating chronic diseases. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), only about 50% of patients in developed countries who suffer from chronic diseases adhere to treatment recommendations and this is even lower in developing countries; said GlobalData a leading data and analytics company.

The development of mobile health applications, or mHealth apps, which aim to improve medication adherence has increased sharply in the past few years; however, their effectiveness and feasibility for integration into the healthcare system remains to be evaluated.

Dr Edit Kovalcsik, Senior Analyst for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders at GlobalData, said: “Nonadherence to long-term therapies can impede treatment success and the overall effectiveness of healthcare systems while increasing morbidity and death rates.”

The results of the MedISAFE-PB trial, which evaluated the effectiveness of Medisafe smartphone app on medication adherence and blood pressure (BP) control among patients with poorly controlled hypertension, were published 16 April, 2018.

According to the authors, medication nonadherence accounts for about half of uncontrolled hypertension and more than 100 smartphone apps are already available to assist in self-management of hypertension alone.

Despite the wide availability, improved BP control through smartphone technology has been demonstrated only for those mHealth strategies that aim to improve communication between patients and physicians, even though most patients download and use apps without the active participation of their physician.

The Medisafe app, marketed by Medisafe Boston and Israeli digital health business, is available on both iOS and Android and includes reminder alerts, adherence reports and optional peer support.

This digital solution has been named top app for medication management by November 2017 IQVIA (Quintiles IMS) report and received endorsements from the American Pharmacy Association, Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) and Ranked Health, and has received the highest usability rating among medication adherence smartphone apps in several reviews.

Kovalcsik added: "The substantial growth of the adherence app market reflects a high demand for this tool, requiring a continued need for randomized controlled trials to identify those apps that could be effectively incorporated into current care. Although the active involvement of nurses and pharmacists are effective measures of improving medication adherence, they are highly resource intensive.”

"Therefore, GlobalData believes that smartphone adherence apps will play an important role in improving adherence to medication and provide a better quality of life, for patients living with chronic conditions.”

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