Software Helps Patients Reduce Health Care Costs
San Diego — Nov. 12
The Pill Phone, a patented health care tool for medication management, is now available to customers of three major U.S. wireless operators. The Pill Phone is the quick, convenient way for people to optimize their health care while they’re on the go.
The Pill Phone enables wireless customers to personalize and schedule audio and visual alerts reminding them to take their prescribed medications at the right time, whether they are at home or traveling. The Pill Phone also includes content from The Pill Book, the best-selling guide to more than 1,800 commonly prescribed and over-the-counter drugs. Consumers can easily access critical information on indications, dosing, side effects and drug interactions, and view photos to identify specific pills.
The software is the only interactive, wireless medication reminder application with clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The innovative tool is particularly useful for adults and children who are taking multiple medications for chronic conditions, such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, heart problems and cancer.
The Pill Phone is expected to help improve therapeutic results and medication adherence rates while helping to control health care costs. Chronic disease now accounts for 75 percent of the nation’s $2 trillion in medical costs, and adherence with prescription regimens among those with chronic conditions is only 20 percent to 50 percent. Nonadherence by all patients results in $100 billion in annual health care costs.
“The Pill Phone helps me manage multiple medications for high cholesterol and other conditions,” said Rob Lee, a marketing and sales consultant in Monterey, Calif. “My cholesterol level has dropped 30 points to 157, and that’s a direct result of reminders to take my medication on time.” Lee travels as part of his job and said he can easily adjust The Pill Phone reminders to the time zone in which he is working.
“Study after study has shown that if asthma patients take their preventive medications, they don’t wind up with big-ticket items like hospitalizations and emergency room visits,” said Michael J. Welch, M.D., $$ of the Allergy and Asthma Medical Group and Research Center. He said The Pill Phone is particularly appropriate for teenagers who “like cell phone gizmos” and seniors with complicated medication schedules.
The Pill Phone is convenient and easy to use. Customers simply download the application to their mobile phones, just like a ringtone or game. Using their phone number and PIN, consumers can safely set up their accounts and access their medication information on a secure Web site. Responses to dosing reminders are recorded in a Medication Administration Record (MAR), a diary that can be viewed online by subscribers or designated caregivers to monitor compliance with dosing regimens. An optional feature notifies parents or caregivers if the patient fails to respond to a medication reminder. Parents or caregivers can receive an email or text message if the patient misses or does not respond to a reminder.
The Pill Phone is leading a new wave of creative products at the intersection of consumer electronics, computing, the Internet and wireless communications. The Pill Phone extends the benefits of advanced wireless connectivity to personal healthcare delivery for millions of people.
“Wireless technology has great potential to unlock benefits for patients and reduce spiraling healthcare costs,” said Carl Washburn, CEO of VOCEL, the innovative company that introduced The Pill Phone. “We think The Pill Phone will become an essential tool for patients and physicians, especially in a tough economic environment.”