When treating serious diseases two principles are for sure. First: Not taking your medicine is usually not an option. Second: Yet, a huge population of patients will show a decrease in adherence rates heading forward with their therapy – this has been demonstrated in many studies! The questions of why this phenomenon occurs in almost all therapeutic areas and what can be done as preventive actions can be answered in many ways. For the latter let’s start with one of the most obvious: Reminding patients!
In this context, patients’ smartphones have proved as a very useful platform in clinical trials. Therefore, Alcedis has developed eMARS (Alcedis electronic Medication Adherence Reminder System) to inform patients via push notification or SMS when they have forgotten to take their medications. Alcedis eMARS can be connected to a patient’s diary App, the clinician’s eCRF or any other electronic patient record. Before sending a reminder message, eMARS will compare individual therapy schemes (for example as defined in the study protocol) with documentations done by the patient and/or the clinician.
Looking into the future there will be more advanced methods like sensors that can detect specific coatings of pills and therefore will deliver an almost fully automated mechanism to check for the intake of medications (check http://www.proteus.com), or completing medical devices (e.g. an asthma inhalator) with additional counting devices (check https://www.propellerhealth.com) to monitor their usage. These methods are still very limited in their general availability but they are on our radar for integration into future studies.
Learn more about Alcedis eTools in the upcoming Episode 3