AdhereTech Focusing on Taking Medicines Correctly
It can never be overemphasized that how important it is for patients to take pills properly and timely. Especially for those patients who are HIV infected or cancer infected and need to take multiple drugs at multiple times daily, it is extremely crucial that they do not mess it up.
There are a bunch of healthcare startups coming up everyday. While many of them are aiming at facilitating the connection between patients and doctors or pharmacies, or aiming at collecting physical information from patients by wearables and sensors, AdhereTech is one of the few companies who focus on the most important but underestimated matter of healthcare — taking medicines correctly.
According to statistics, about half of the people in the United States fail to take proper amount of medication on time, and this problem is particularly prominent for old people, resulting in additional medical expenses up to $290 billion each year. How to let patients take medicine correctly has become an important problem in the field of healthcare, and this is what AdhereTech is trying to solve.
In CES 2014, AdhereTech introduced its Smart Wireless Pill Bottles. It can not only track the patient’s bill taking history, but also remind them to take medicines on time. The goal of the smart bottle is to ensure that patients comply with the doctor’s instructions, in order to reduce the risk of negatively influencing the treatment caused by forgetting to take medicines or taking wrong dose. This smart bottle has multiple sensors which are connected to cloud servers, so it can collect information about the amounts of drugs in the bottle, and it can also determine in real time whether or not the patient has taken one pill or two pills, or a milliliter liquid medicine. When it is time to take medicine, the bottle will emit blue light. If the patient does not immediately open the box, then the indicator color will turn red. If the patient have not taken the pill for a while, a phone call reminder or text message reminder will be sent to the patient’s cell phone. If the patient fails to respond to the previously mentioned ways of reminding, the indicator light will flash continuously and the inside bell will alarm at the same time.
AdhereTech also cooperated with a number of pharmaceutical companies, especially those that produce expensive drugs. These pharmaceutical companies will distribute the smart bottle to all pharmacies, and pharmacies will then distribute the smart bottle to patients. When the patient goes to see the pharmacist again about a month later, he/she can get a fully-charged bottle with refilled drugs and instruction information in it, and then it can be used for 45 days without charging again. In addition, if any abnormal behavior of the patient is found, the medical staff who is responsible for the patient can call the patient directly, asking for the situations. There is also an associated app, which can collect the patient’s medication record, so as to help the doctor or pharmacist to better understand and control the patient’s condition.
The mission of AdhereTech is to make the lives of patients easier and better by reducing the risk of missing dose, which is very exciting. In addition, the business model of AdhereTech has helped the products reach out to and benefit more patients. Therefore, although just focusing on medicine taking, AdhereTech has the potential to largely influence the healthcare field in the future.