Smart Medicine Takes Control of Prescription Regimens
Call it smart medicine: Alabama-based MedSnap, LLC has launched MedSnap ID, an iPhone application for clinicians, health systems, hospitals, pharmacies and home health providers that uses computer vision technology to identify an entire set of patients’ pills and screen them for safety.
The new technology comes on the heels of a recent IMS Health study, which found that poor medication use by clinicians and patients costs $200 billion each year in the United States in healthcare expenditures. The app helps patients who takes multiple medications identity pills by name and strength, and verify their doses by comparing what they snap to their expected regiment, manage medication schedules, track how they take prescriptions, and security information with their doctors and family.
The founder of MedSnap, Patrick Hymel, M.D., says that while medication history is a critical point of ensuring a safe medication experience, actually figuring out what patients are taking takes time and can be error prone. “Our technology allows the patient to demonstrate what they actually take perhaps directly from their pill organizer – and in seconds, an accurate medication list can be generated, complete with pertinent drug-drug and drug-disease interactions,” Hymel said. “We’ve designed this technology to empower clinicians and healthcare systems to undertake improvements in medication safety at the individual and enterprise levels.”
Enhancing their technology even more, MedSnap ID Enterprise, technology designed for health systems, urgent care centers and home health organizations, integrates MedSnap data and information into one centralized review of medication schedules for the entire health-care organizations. The Enterprise version can also securely import the MedSnap regimen into the patient’s electronic health record for home health providers.
“In the Emergency Department, clinic, pharmacy or during a home health visit, it takes valuable time for a clinician to manually identify and screen a dozen or more patient medications from a brown bag, unlabeled bottle, or pill organizer,” explained Hymel. “Also, errors in prescription writing, dispensing, or patient management are a common, yet under-recognized.
Some startling facts relating to confounding medication adherence:
Nearly 75 percent of adults who take prescription medications are non-adherent in one or more ways, such as not filling a new prescription or taking less than the dose recommended by the physician, according to PHRMA.
Better adherence to antihypertensive treatment alone could prevent 89,000 premature deaths in the U.S. annually, reports The New England Journal of Medicine.
32 million Americans are taking three or more medications.
The average Medicare patient with one chronic condition sees four physicians a year, while those with five or more chronic conditions see 14 different physicians a year.