Connected drug-delivery devices provide quantitative data on medication uses that may improve patient engagement and a move toward value-based payments.
Iain Simpson, Phillips-MedisizeHealthcare has become increasingly digitalized in the past decade, with the widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHR), connected devices in hospitals and laboratories, and smartphones and tablets to support healthcare professionals.
At the same time, prescription medication — especially for patients with chronic diseases — is increasingly being taken at home rather than in the hospital, underscoring the need to explore and expand mobile digitalization to monitor adherence.
Fortunately, the widespread availability of low-cost connectivity such as Bluetooth and near-universal access to mobile technologies such as smartphones have opened the door to new opportunities in this arena. With smartphones already integral to most patients’ lives across the globe, the logical next step is to use them as tools to support both medication adherence and disease management.
A belief in the potential of connectivity to improve medication adherence through better usability, medication reminders, remote patient support and other features that support behavioral change has driven the development of connected drug-delivery devices. But, as the healthcare industry continues its march toward a value-based payment model in lieu of a volume-based one, the landscape is set to change.
Aligning patient, provider and pharma company needs with the healthcare reimbursement process is critical and probably best accomplished by shifting the focus from adherence alone to improving outcomes. But adherence is only one part of the story. A poor outcome for a therapeutic intervention could be a result of non-adherence and/or non-response. A step beyond value-based healthcare is recognizing that all patients are not the same, so prescribing the same dose to all may not be optimal. We need to move toward precision or personalized medicine, where treatment is tailored to individual needs.