Pharmacies, caregivers, and patients now have a full solution that goes beyond simple alerts to take medication or refill a prescription— introducing MyMedTimes™, the only fully automated adherence app on the market. Safe, accurate, easy.
With the ubiquitous use of laptops, tablets and smart phones in the healthcare industry, the natural progression of medical apps has been sure and steady. The functionality of these apps ranges from glorified alarm clocks reminding you it’s time to take a pill, to full-featured healthcare apps designed to engage everyone the caregiving loop and improve medicine adherence. Apps that help patients take and refill their medications fill a need for many people. This article will focus on helping you understand the differences so you can make an educated decision on which type of solution is right for you, your loved one, or your patients.
It all boils down to patient safety, which in turn, has a significant financial impact. It’s no surprise that manual processes are error-prone, and taking the right medication(s) at the right dose at that right time… consistently… is difficult.
First, let’s take a minute to define what adherence means. Compliance, adherence, and persistence are used commonly in medical literature to describe medication-taking behaviors. While compliance and adherence are similar, adherence has become the preferred term, defined by the World Health Organization as "the extent to which a person's behavior [in] taking medication...corresponds with agreed recommendations from a health care provider" (World Health Organization, 2003). Persistence is a vital component of adherence, speaking directly about the ability of a person to continue taking medications for the intended course of therapy—perhaps months or years, or the person’s lifetime.
When surveying non-adherence statistics are, the facts are distressing:
There are a plethora of pill reminder applications available for both Android and Apple phones. Trying to determine which one is right for you can be an ominous endeavor since they mostly seem to do the same thing – send reminders to take medications. The type of things to look for when choosing a pill reminder app are, how easy is it to set up? Do you have to type in all of your prescription information and set up the schedules manually? If you have complex schedules for taking a medication, can the app handle it? Can you see at a glance if you took your medications for a specific day and time? How secure is your data? If you use the internet to do research, you will find that some of the top-rated applications such include Medisafe, DoseCast and Med Helper. These are good for people who are comfortable using mobile apps, can diligently do their own data entry, and want to be more involved in organizing and tracking how they take medications. These solutions aren’t ideal for everyone as they rely on manual entry of dosing information to generate reminders, which is labor intensive and error-prone. At first glance these apps seem convenient, however they require ongoing management and do little to catch mistakes.
Many pharmacies are coming out with their own mobile apps. These help to keep customers updated on store specials, coupons, purchase programs, etc. Some also feature ‘pharmacist chat’ functionality. A perk included with most of these apps is the ability to request a prescription fill or refill. Only a few of these apps sent reminders to take medications, and none of those studied for this article had adherence tracking.
The key to medicine adherence is engagement.
Adherence advocate Catalyst Healthcare goes further into the management and monitoring of medication adherence. Far beyond a mere pill reminder, MyMedTimes™ is designed as part of an adherence ecosystem that connects pharmacy and patient by tying directly into cloud software and the pharmacy’s adherence platform. Consistent engagement and real-time information makes it possible for pharmacist and patient to work together to achieve the highest level of medication adherence.
Giving pharmacies even more.
Catalyst’s offering is the only fully automated adherence app on the market. MyMedTimes™ is integrated with Catalyst’s full suite of software and hardware, so patients know when and what medications to take based on what’s been checked, packaged and delivered from their trusted pharmacist, without extra work by the pharmacy or the patient. As the pharmacy team goes about their day-to-day activities of filling, packaging and checking prescriptions, MyMedTimes™ is automatically personalized with adherence instructions for each patient.
Pharmacies benefit through increased customer loyalty and additional sales, while offering a safe and accurate system for their patients. Because the MyMedTimes™ app is connected to the pharmacy in real-time, the pharmacy has insight into whether or not that patient is taking their medications as prescribed and can intervene if non-adherence becomes an issue. The dashboard also provides info and data which the pharmacy can provide to demonstrate they are tracking adherence and are managing patient compliance.
Monitor and intervene.
Interactive pharmacy dashboards allow the pharmacy to monitor, intervene and track outcomes. With information on what has been taken and when, the pharmacy can proactively review a report, giving insight into not only adherence but also effectiveness. The caregiving circle is complete, with the highest chance of total adherence.
An ecosystem built for adherence.
Basing medication reminders on what should truly be taken makes MyMedTimes™ the ultimate for patient safety and adherence. This is all possible because of , and it’s compatibility with automated packaging units such as McKesson Canada’s PACMED® and Synergy Medical’s SynMed®.
® helps nurses to safely administer medications, and for home use, the smart phone app MyMedTimes™ and spencer™ medication dispenser (for higher-risk, chronically ill populations) complete the ecosystem for maximum adherence.
No matter what sort of solution you’re looking for, there’s an app out there for you. From standalone pill reminder apps, medicine trackers, all the way to full-blown adherence apps that integrate with pharmacy software and hardware, technology is helping to solve serious issues and saving lives.
The Future is Now—MyMedTimes App Advantage
Rewinding back to the beginning of this article, the future of med apps is beyond reordering convenience and “don’t forget!” reminders. The vast majority of apps on the marketing today do not address the key issues of patient medication adherence and persistence. Catalyst’s solution to extend MyMedTimes™ into a robust eco-system whereby medication is one of the modalities of care continuum, separates this app from others. There’s potential to address the persistence factor whereby the other apps are "point" offerings, not integrated, not connected, and not extensible into care plans. Not only does MyMedTimes™ reset the bar technology-wise, but it’s the only app that benefits everyone in the circle of care. The comparison below dives into key differences between types of mobile medication apps.
Compare MyMedTimes™ with popular Pharmacy Apps and Pill Monitor apps.
|Pharmacy Apps||Pill Monitor Apps|
|Device compatibility||Apple or Android||Apple or Android||Apple or Android|
|Standalone product||No, interacts live with pharmacy||No, provided by pharmacy|
|In a nutshell||Feature-packed mHealth app for total medication adherence.||Branded apps for store information and refill requests.||Self-managed apps to manually generate med reminders.|
|Who benefits in the circle of care?||Full circle: Consumer, caregivers and pharmacy interact in realtime.||Partial circle: Consumer, pharmacy gets refill orders.||Quarter circle: Consumer, caregiver.|
|Integration with Pharmacy||Full||Partial|
|Tracks patient’s current medications||Only what's ordered through the app||Self-managed|
|Monitor medication adherence||Self-managed|
|Intervenes to improve adherence|
|Intervention tracking & reporting|
|Assists in filling / refilling orders||Self-managed||Self-managed|
|Pay for meds through app|
|Updated with real-time med changes||Self-managed|
|Chat - patient/pharmacist communication||Some, not all|
|View and monitor patient vitals||Self-managed|
|Collect data from Bluetooth devices||Some, not all|
|Local pharmacy lookup||Limited to partners||Some, not all|
|Pharmacy software integration||Fully integrated with pharmacy workflow for true pharmacy-to-patient adherence management.||Basic|
|Pharmacy hardware integration||PACMED®, SynMed®|
|Simple automated setup|
|Online-banking level security & encryption||Some, not all||Some, not all|
|Data synchronized to cloud||Some, not all||Paid version|
|Availability||Through pharmacy||Through pharmacy||General|
|Support||Some, not all||Some, not all|
|Revenue Model||Pharmacy sponsored,
free to end-user
free to end-user
|Free or paid|
|Summary||Feature-packed app to improve engagement and adherence.||Pharmacy-branded apps for store information and refill requests.||Self-managed apps to manually generate med reminders.|
Disclaimer: This article was written by an independent marketing/research company with no affiliation with any of the software/app manufacturers mentioned in this article. Every effort was made to give an objective and accurate overview of capabilities, based on publicly available information at the time of writing. This overview is not a replacement for due diligence to determine individual suitability.