mHealth based medication management

Average Ratings Feasibility

The identification of all medicinal products used by the patient is one of the pivotal issues that need to be solved in the first place by any medication management system. The intake of prescribed medication presents a challenge, in particular for elderly people and in cases where a variety of medications have to be taken in a complex schedule.
To support patients with this task, an innovative mHealth-concept is needed. The system could use both, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID)-tags and barcodes, to identify and document the intake of medications. The multimodal mHealth concept enables easy-to-use medication management. This system shows the potential for targeting the problem of medication management with mHealth methods.

Future Developments

In the future, such a system could be linked to the Electronic Health Record (eMedication) to warn, for example, of possible drug related problems. In combination with a web-service, this mHealth-tool could also be able to give the doctor an overview of the patient’s medication intake in combination with special vital signs. This could be a new way to optimize and adapt the public health service for each single patient.

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7 Responses to “mHealth based medication management”

  1. I think that many errors during the medication process are preventable because of IT based medication management systems.

    Especially, for older people it is difficult to manage the intake of medication. In many cases older people have to take 5-8 different drugs with different dosages and different specific moments for the intakes.

    For such a medication a management system it is essential. Such a system is also linked to other processes like the prescription of medication. It is fact, that many errors during the medication process already happened at the paper-based prescription.
    Intelligent decision-support systems are a good possibility to reduce and prevent errors in this area.

    A RFID and barcode supported system can be used in hospitals as well as for home- and self-monitoring systems.
    Due to such system, patients can cope with the daily routine more self-employed. Patients can check themselves if the intake of the medication was done properly or not. Alerts from smart phones and the connection to the attending physician are very important functions and should be included.

    Another important fact is the usability. The fact that most of the people who need a medication management system are older, the handling should be very simple and fast. Less input options and functions which should be easy to understand must be kept in mind.

  5. The importance for such a mHealth based medication management system can also be seen at the fact that many, especially older patients, stop to take the medicine they should, because of adverse effects and often do not inform their doctor about it.

    Therefore the system should check the intake of every medication as it is prescribed and give the patient the possibility to inform the doctor about their personal well-being after taking a specific medicine.
    The personal well-being could be easily transmitted by selecting one of three smileys (good / average / bad) and should always be determined for the day before.

    The mobile software also should remind the patient daily to contact their doctor in case of any adverse effects, to optimise the patient’s medication.

  6. A unique identification and traceability of the pharmaceutical products and their intake are becoming even more important. Hospitals are forced to increase the patients’ safety in terms of the medication intake with the use of Auto-ID Technologies like RFID or Barcode (especially DataMatrix Code), in the packaging. Some hospitals are using automated picking machines or dispenser systems to ensure the safety of patients.

    However, at home, it’s nearly hard to control and document the patients intake of medications. This m-health innovation could prevent adverse drug reactions, duplicate prescriptions and so therefore increase patients’ safety. The usability of this innovation should be a priority.

    Overall, to enable this innovation, it will need the cooperation of the drug companies. They must use the same communication and packaging standards (RFID, Barcode) that makes the record of the medication intake for patients possible.

    All in all, I rate this mHealth innovation with 4 for the Feasibility, 5 for the Relevance and 2 for the Novelty.

  7. I think this vision is an absolutely necessary development in the near future. Medication management is something that has enormous potential for the improvement of health care.

    Especially people who have to take a lot of different medications can profit from eMedication and mobile applications related to this topic. Not only can it help with right dosage (or taking the right medication in the first place) but also the management of side effects and adverse events is something that can be significantly improved by information technology.

    Pharacological interactions are one of the biggest problems known in todays health care, an especially for this application new technologies hold gread potential. I think this vision is very feasible and extremely relevant, and I believe that it’s good that this is not the newest of ideas, because it’s important that we don’t have to wait for too long to see developments in this particular area!


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