In October 2009 AT&T announced plans to outfit Vitality's WiFi-enabled pill box caps with cellular connectivity to more efficiently track and encourage medication adherence among users of the caps, called GlowCaps. Ahead of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011, AT&T and Vitality announced that 3G-enabled GlowCaps are now available direct to consumer through Amazon.com.
The original WiFi-enabled GlowCaps were first made available through Amazon in August 2009 for a flat rate of $99. While the AT&T cellular-enabled GlowCaps are carrying the same price tag, the GlowCap itself costs $10 while the service component is an additional $15 per month. The $99 package includes six months of service.
Whenever a user opens a pill box with a GlowCaps outfitted on it, the data is sent to Vitality, which in turn helps the user's care providers or family members keep track of their adherence. If a user misses a dose, the GlowCap can flash a light, play a ringtone and even call the user's mobile phone to remind them. GlowCaps also include a button that starts a call between the user's phone and their pharmacy when the medication needs to be refilled.
Last June Boston-based Partners Healthcare’s Center for Connected Health announced that Vitality’s GlowCap service raised medication adherence rates 27 percent for a group of hypertensive patients in a pilot study. The group using GlowCaps achieved 98 percent adherence, while another group using GlowCaps plus financial incentives hit 99 percent adherence. The World Health Organization estimates that adherence to daily medication averages 50 percent for those suffering from chronic conditions. A widely cited study by the New England Healthcare Institute recently calculated the costs resulting from non-adherence at $300 billion annually.
Last year Vitality partnered with pharmacy benefits management company Express Scripts for a GlowCaps pilot. Four pharmaceutical companies were testing GlowCaps by the end of 2009, according to Vitality.
Vitality CEO David Rose told MobiHealthNews this past October that the company was developing an iPad app (pictured above) for its pharma brand managers to help them track in real-time the success of their GlowCap programs. As part of the deal, Vitality gave away iPads to any GlowCap customer, which Rose said included pharmacos and insurers, that distributes more than 10,000 GlowCaps to its customers.
"With the secure app, they can see adherence patters as they emerge, everyday, in realtime. For example they can see the total value higher adherence creates for the brand. The resulting cost-savings, in the case of insurers. Even how adherence varies by demographic slice or geography (media market)," Rose wrote at the time.
For more on the Amazon.com announcement, read the release here