Putting mHealth to work in medication management

From the mHealthNews archive
By Eric Wicklund
11:08 am

mHealth experts have often wondered what would compel providers to take an interest in consumer-facing apps. How about an app that not only tells consumers what medications they're supposed to be taking, but how they affect one's health and wellness?

That's what Medisafe, an Israeli mHealth company focused on the medication adherence market, is targeting in a partnership with Human API. It's using the middleware company's technology to connect consumers to all of their medication data, ranging from prescription histories to lab results to information pulled off of mobile devices and apps.

[See also: An mHealth challenge: Understanding the doctor's orders]

Jon Michaeli, Medisafe's executive vice president of marketing and business development, said that while the company's platform is consumer-oriented, "the vision of Medisafe was always to go beyond just a patient app."

"Medication reconciliation is a big challenge in the healthcare industry," he said. "We want to be a key influencer and advisor of the patient … and facilitate that conversation with the provider."

The concept gets to the root of a couple popular trends in healthcare – the Internet of Things and Big Data. Medication management is not just about when a patient takes prescribed drugs and how much to take, but about how those medications (or lack of them) affect one's health. By pulling in data from the medical record as well as home health devices and wearables, Medisafe aims to create a more robust history of each particular patient.

[See also: MIS tools reduce errors, bolster engagement]

That platform, in turn, could be used by a provider to better manage a patient's health. Imagine a doctor, meeting with a diabetic patient, who can refer to not only the patient's insulin intake, but also her blood glucose readings, blood pressure readings, heart rate, diet, sleep patterns, moods and blood tests and labs.

The key, said Michaeli, is creating a platform that will help the provider find common ground in medication management, rather than bombarding them with data points and other information that are ultimately confusing or overwhelming.

"Once we understand the context in which doctors want to receive this information, we can present it to them in a way that's meaningful to them," he said. "We don't want to (inundate) them with all this information when it's not of use to them. They have to find the value in it."

Michaeli said Medisafe decided on a partnership with Human API because the time is right for middleware companies that can come in and connect the various dots on the mHealth curve. There are plenty of locations where patient medication data is collected, he said, but little effort to gather all that data together and make it useful.

"This isn't being disruptive – it's being an enabler," he said.



[See also: NIH grants to fuel adherence, patient-provider communication]