Patient Engagement VS. Digital Patient Engagement
According to Healthcare IT News, Patient Engagement at its core is a patient’s ability and willingness to improve their health, along with interventions (from provider, pharmas, etc.) to support such participation. Patient engagement has existed in clinics and hospitals for thousands of years, however with technology redefining healthcare, the term ” patient engagement” is being reassessed throughout all departments of healthcare.
Rather than patient engagement, leading industry experts are paying closer attention to “digital patient engagement,” or the information between a patient and healthcare professional mediated directly or indirectly by technology. Pharmaceutical companies are being disrupted with cutting edge technology that is helping patients become more empowered and knowledgeable about their wellbeing. According to the Capgemini Consulting Digital Life Science Market Web Watch, there was a 300% increase in digital initiatives from 2016 to 2017. 60% of these initiatives focused on digital patient engagement.
The era of Digital Medicine is upon us. Back in November 2017, FDA approved Abilify MyCite, a successful pill with a sensor that digitally tracks if patients have ingested their medication. Since the approval of this disruptive concept, many Health IT companies are eagerly in the process of expanding the variety of digital medicine.
According to an NPJ article, digital medicine is ”digital tools to upgrade the practice of medicine to one that is high-definition and far more individualized. It uses biosensors that tracks the human’s complex physiologic systems and processes data generated by algorithms, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.”
Digital Medicine Today
Healthcare technology leaders and digital medicine advocates are filled with ideas and concepts on how digital medicine can democratize medicine and improve medication experience amongst patients more powerfully than ever. Here are five of the latest cutting edge ideas of digital medicine.
Taking medication is routine for most Americans. In order to reduce effects of chronic diseases and cure illnesses, it boils down to the patient adhering to take their medicine prescribed by the clinician. As shown in a recent report, only half of Americans with chronic diseases remember to take their medications as instructed. Some forget to take the medication, while others mix their prescriptions and take it at incorrect times, resulting in lethal side effects. Non-adherence is the leading cause of decreased quality of life, poorly managed symptoms, constant revists to the hospital, and even death.
Non-adherence to medications goes far beyond the patient. Failing to comply with medication prescriptions has costed the American healthcare system over $300 billion a year.
There is no one universal reason why non-adherence happens to often. Factors could range anywhere from socioeconomic factors (i.e. language barriers, limited health education, poor health insurance), to health system issues (i.e. patient-provider relationship and long wait times), to a patient’s personal attitude on taking medication.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for medication-adherence but combining different solutions could help break the barriers of non-adherence and improve overall healthcare.