Stephanie Baum, the East Coast Innovation Reporter for Medcitynews, recently covered a new study looking to find the relationship between a change in prescription drug labels and adherence. The study aims to simplify instructions on prescriptions, making them easier to read and follow, eventually making a national standard. Even simple instructions such as “Take one tablet daily” can be written in 53 different forms.
Adherence is probably one of the most frequently used words in the healthcare reform lexicon. It affects a big chunk of the patient population and drives up healthcare costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There’s rarely one simple reason why patients don’t take their medication as prescribed — from forgetfulness to a lack of awareness about its importance, especially when they don’t feel sick, to underlying environmental and lifestyle issues. A new study shifts the focus from patients to drug labels and what can be done to make them easier to read and more consistent.
imedicalapps, “the leading Physician review of medical and healthcare apps”, recently published an article dubbed “The Future of Wearable Sensors in Healthcare”. The article, written by David Ahn, a physician at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, covered the recent USC Body Computing Conference. Specifically, it provides an interesting overview of three panels that focused on wearable sensors in Healthcare.
Critical topics included consumer engagement in health apps, interpreting data from sensors, and the role physicians should play in their patients’ health. Companies such as Misfit Wearables, Basis Science, Samsung Health and Zephyr were present.
Three panel sessions at the Body Computing Conference were focused on Wearable Sensors and brought together thought leaders in the exploding mHealth segment.
Leading figures at Misfit Wearables, Basis Science, Samsung Health, Vancive, Jawbone/BodyMedia, Zephyr, Proteus, and various venture capital firms were all present to highlight their specific offerings and to comment on the rapidly-evolving space of wearable computing.
The panels were free-spirited and even lighthearted at times, but also provided unique insight from within the industry. Here’s a brief summary of some takeaways from the various panels…
Elizabeth Rosenthal, a Stanford graduate and medical doctor who writes for the New York Times, recently published an article titled “The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath”. The article illuminates the “soaring costs” of asthma medication by covering a struggling family with 2 asthmatic children. Around 40 million people in the U.S are diagnosed with asthma, the most common chronic disease in the country. It can be kept at bay with a strong adherence to medication and regular doctor visits. However, with rising medical costs, asthma medication is becoming more difficult to afford than ever before.
Healthcare non-adherence is estimated to cost the U.S between $100 and $290 Billion a year. Following a medication regime is difficult for most patients as a false sense of health security can lure them away. With costs rising dramatically across the entire health industry, medication adherence is taking a toll.
“OAKLAND, Calif. — The kitchen counter in the home of the Hayes family is scattered with the inhalers, sprays and bottles of pills that have allowed Hannah, 13, and her sister, Abby, 10, to excel at dance and gymnastics despite a horrific pollen season that has set off asthma attacks, leaving the girls struggling to breathe.”
“Asthma — the most common chronic disease that affects Americans of all ages, about 40 million people — can usually be well controlled with drugs. But being able to afford prescription medications in the United States often requires top-notch insurance or plenty of disposable income, and time to hunt for deals and bargains.”
Image from http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/labs/Halterman-Lab/projects/sb-pact.cfm
A recent partnership between the University of Rochester Medical Center and the Rochester City School District may bode well for asthmatic children who do not receive ample treatment away from the doctor’s office. Researches are led by Dr. Jill Halterman, a pediatrics professor at URMC. The study, aided by a federal grant, will examine the effects of telemedicine and active intervention in the school setting on medicine adherence. The study was covered by the Examiner.