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.

  1. 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.
  2. Not everyone trusts medicine, their doctors or pharmaceutical companies¬† – they don’t believe their best interests are kept in mind.
  3. 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
  4. 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.

robot and human