There was a recent piece on-line at Forbes: Why Technology May Not Fix the Medication Adherence Problem. This is a great piece for many reasons – but in full disclosure, I have been wearing my FitBit for over 2 months now and I love it! And Biotech companies like Biogen Idec. are collaborating with FitBit to use this non-invasive, positively reinforcing technology with patients diagnosed with MS – although it can go beyond that.
Before getting into the advantages of using technology, I would like to address some of the key points in the Forbes article.
- Patients are people and inherently have their own biases, preferences and feelings. Texting reminders, putting alarms on bottles and monitoring doses can be seen as invasive by some – and forcing these different types of technology on everyone will miss the boat.
- Not everyone trusts medicine, their doctors or pharmaceutical companies – they don’t believe their best interests are kept in mind.
- People don’t want to be reminded on a daily, weekly or monthly basis that they are “sick” and pills or shots can be seen as unfriendly reminders
- The healthcare team is critical in the sharing of information, understanding, listening, etc. And while I recognize that visits are short, there are ways to make them more efficient and taking 5 minutes to talk to the person as a PERSON and not necessarily as a patient can work wonders! Involving pharmacists in on the conversation with patients – and including them as part of the team, along with nurses, PAs, etc. make for a better patinet experience – which often leads to better clinical, financial and emotional outcomes.
We live in a world of technology and that should be embraced – but not replaced for being human.