Taking pills can be easy to forget and factors such as unpleasant side effects can significantly contribute to missed doses. This is especially true for serious diseases with complicated and prolonged regimens, often leading to decreased patient adherence at a time when staying on a drug regimen is especially important.
AdhereTech currently helps patients around the world with its adherence programs. The company’s smart pill bottle and underlying software detect compliance with medications, alerts patients when they miss a dose, and can directly notify the patients’ specialty pharmacy if it detects more serious issues. (A specialty pharmacy is a pharmacy that dispenses medications requiring extra patient monitoring, often for complex or rare conditions.)
The most striking part of AdhereTech is the sleek white bottle that glows when a dose is missed. The company has won numerous product design awards for its technology. But the system behind the bottle is where the actual magic happens. “Half of our team is software,” says Josh Stein, co-founder and CEO. “It’s all about data analytics and sending the right intervention to the patient at the right time… data and software plays as big a role as the device itself.”
That flow of data starts with the bottle. “Anywhere this bottle goes, [anywhere] around the globe, it sends us data,” Stein says. “It basically tells the system when and if the patients have taken their meds.” The system then compares a patient’s prescribed medication regimen with their actual one.
If the comparison doesn’t match up, two things can happen. A simple missed dose will prompt the bottle to glow or the system to give a call or text reminder. More serious compliance issues, such as missing multiple doses, will prompt the system to initiate an automated call to ask the patient about any difficulties with their medications. It can also directly alert the specialty pharmacy to contact and assist the patient.
Despite the underlying technology, however, making AdhereTech simple to use is a priority. “Our average patient is over 70 years old, and many don’t own cell phones,” says Stein. To achieve simplicity, the bottle is a stand-alone device, working with any cell phone, smartphone, and/or landline. AdhereTech also partners with pharmaceutical companies to provide the bottles free of charge to patients.
AdhereTech has grown quickly since its founding in 2011. Currently, the company works with almost all of the specialty pharmacies in America, putting its smart system into the hands of thousands of patients. The result? Better compliance means more effective medicines, higher retention rates, and better patient health, says Stein. “When patients follow the prescription, everyone benefits.”
To learn more, check out the AdhereTech website here…