Taking on health prevention and medication adherence with pharmacy partners using the science of prevention and the art of human engagement.
Rising chronic illness rates and an aging population are taxing health care systems all over the world—including in developed countries like the United States, Australia, France, and Germany. The World Health Organization states that “chronic diseases are the main cause of death and disability worldwide.”(1)
Today, many future-thinking organizations and government agencies are working hard to promote preventative health practices and improve medication adherence worldwide.
GLOBALLY, CHRONIC CONDITIONS ARE TAXING HEALTH SYSTEMS, PHARMACIES, AND PATIENTS
Chronic disease prevention holds a powerful potential to fix health systems that are cracking under the economic stress of chronic illnesses and medication non-adherence. Unhealthy drinking and smoking habits, lack of physical activity, and obesity continue to be major public health issues in countries like France, particularly among the youth.(2) In Germany, chronic illnesses accounted for 92% of deaths in 2002. (3) Similarly in the United States, more than two-thirds of all deaths are caused by one or more of these five chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. Chronic diseases kill more than 1.7 million Americans each year, and costs the United States more than $1.5 trillion each year.(4, 5)
MEDICATION ADHERENCE IS A CRITICAL FOCUS FOR PHARMACIES, PHARMACY FRANCHISES, AND PATIENTS
Beyond prevention, adherence to prescribed medication regimes is another critical intersection to help improve health outcomes and reduce costs.
Medication adherence is defined by the World Health Organization as “the degree to which the person’s behavior corresponds with the agreed recommendations from a health care provider.”(1) The cost of medication non-adherence is astronomical, both in dollars—up to USD50,000 per person, according to a global review study (5,6)—and in health outcomes. Globally, it’s estimated that among patients with chronic illness, approximately 50% do not take medications as prescribed.(1)
There is growing investment and research focused on building digital tools to promote medication adherence. In particular, mobile medication management apps have several benefits. For most patients, apps are easily accessible, flexible, and adaptable. They can be specific to the health system, the provider, and the patient.
TECH AND ENGAGEMENT MUST INTERSECT WITH PHARMACIES AND PATIENTS TO FIND SOLUTIONS FOR NON-ADHERENCE
With a patient-centered, pharmacist-friendly approach, Carebook is evolving its digital solution to improve medication adherence. Mobile technology is advancing. And research into how humans can engage with technology for behavior change is exciting. Carebook Technologies aims to increase health outcomes and save costs for pharmacies and the health system as a whole. We specifically focus on improving lifestyle habits, preventing chronic diseases, and addressing medication adherence barriers. Our team is made up of researchers, health professionals, engagement experts, and tech professionals. Using global data, we’re taking on prevention and medical adherence with one, centralized product—designed with the knowledge that reasons for medical adherence are varied and complex. If you’re a pharmacy, pharmacy franchise, or are interested in looking at our pharmacy solutions, please get in touch and request a demo.
- Tinker A. How to Improve Patient Outcomes for Chronic Diseases and Comorbidities. [(accessed on 30 December 2017)]; Available online: http://www.healthcatalyst.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/How-to-Improve-Patient-Outcomes.pdf.
- The Growing Crisis of Chronic Disease in the United States. [(accessed on 20 December 2019)]; Available online: https://www.fightchronicdisease.org/sites/default/files/docs/GrowingCrisisofChronicDiseaseintheUSfactsheet_81009.pdf.
- Cutler RL, Fernandez-Llimos F, Frommer M, et alEconomic impact of medication non-adherence by disease groups: a systematic reviewBMJ Open 2018;8:e016982. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016982