Apps: supporting long-term adherence to medication

In cases of chronic diseases, long-term adherence to medication can be vital for successful treatment. This is why many clinics have turned to physician dispensing services, to eliminate the need for patients to travel further after visiting their doctors to collect their medication. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that only half of patients suffering from chronic diseases in developed countries adhere to treatment regimes. This figure is lower for developing countries.

As a result there has been an increase in the amount of mHealth apps developed that are aimed at improving medication adherence. However, the effectiveness and feasibility of integration into the healthcare system remains to be fully evaluated.

“Nonadherence to long-term therapies can impede treatment success and the overall effectiveness of healthcare systems while increasing morbidity and death rates,” commented Edit Kovalcsik, PhD, senior analyst for Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders at GlobalData.

Last month, 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. From that study, the authors had discerned that medication nonadherence accounts for about 50% of uncontrolled hypertension and there are more than 100 smartphone apps already available to assist in the self-management of hypertension alone.

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