Dosecast iOS app targets one of healthcare’s biggest weaknesses – medication compliance

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By: William Tobia, M.S., M.B.A.

It was C. Everett Koop, M.D. that said:“Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.”

Non compliance has been documented by industry, such as the large pharmaceutical benefits manager Medco who state “recent research shows that many people with chronic health conditions do not take their medication as often as prescribed…”

In this article, John J. Mahoney writes “Health care costs continue to hit all-time highs, with patient noncompliance as a significant contributing factor” and argues that pharmaceutical benefits should be “value based”, accounting for compliance as well as other factors.

Numerous approaches have been commercialized attempting to effectively deal with the issue of patient medication noncompliance. These include, among others, the DSM TCG OtCM™  System and the Vitality GlowCaps™.

Will these, as well as other potential solutions find their way on to your iPad? That’s exactly what Dosecast is trying to do – and the pharmaceutical industry should take note.

As stated on their website, “Dosecast is the most flexible and easy-to-use app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad to help you remember to take your medications, vitamins, or birth control pills on time.” And how does it work?

“Simply enter basic information about each drug you take, such as the name, dosage, and how and when you take each drug. You can set up reminders on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule – or, unlike other apps, for a pre-set number of hours or days after the last dose. Dosecast adjusts to your changing day, enabling you to take a dose early or postpone it as long as you need.”

The free edition of the app features reliable push-notifications, flexible scheduling, customizable dose amounts and instructions, postponeable reminders, smart silencing, and privacy and security.

 

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As shown above, the entry screens have you first identify the name of the medication, formulation, directions for taking with or without food, etc. Next, you specify the dosing regimen by frequency, start, and stop date.

For $3.99, the Premium Edition adds local notifications, multiple drug types, dose history logging and emailing, and quantity tracking with refill alerts.

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Seems simple enough, but could this same app be of potential value to a subject (and sponsor) participating in a clinical trial? Although the answer remains to be seen, I clearly expect to see the pharmaceutical industry seriously and quickly evaluating this as a low-cost, high ROI investment for their clinical trials programs.

And, I would not be surprised to hear that PHT is working on an app version of their LogPad® system, as a complement to the mobile e-diary they already have.

iTunes Link: Dosecast

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