Israeli start-up MediSafe Project says early results are positive for its mobile app that encourages users to stick to their medication.
Users have reported an adherence rate of 79 per cent, three months after the app was launched.
The firm points out that the figure compares favourably with the World Health Organisation’s estimated average adherence rate of 50 per cent.
(Medisafe also pointed out that it experienced some server difficulties recently so not all self-reported medication doses have been recorded yet).
The company, which launched its app in November 2012, cloud syncs users’ failure to take medication on time to their friends, families and caregivers, so applying pressure in favour of adherence.
Users failing to take their medication causes preventable deaths but is also estimated to add a significant cost burden to health providers and insurers.
The MediSafe app has been downloaded 20,000 times so far. It is available both for iOS and Android devices. There have been 500,000 visits to the medication reminder since launch. And 350,000 pills or medication doses have been taken since it became available.
The company’s app is free which raises the question about the nature of its business model. It told Mobile World Live that its app’s back-end has “vital, big data implications for pharmaceutical companies”.
The data gathered by the app can provide drugs firms with anonymised patient demographics, geolocation and behaviors, physician trends and other market aspects, it said.
The company is currently in negotiations with pharma firms about becoming clients, which would offer a revenue-generating model.
However, maintaining data privacy for users is always an issue with this kind of approach. MediSafe said the data passed onto drugs firms would be anonymised.
There is a balance any company (not just MediSafe) needs to maintain. If data is more personal and less anonymous it has greater value for a pharma firm but users will feel less happy to participate in the service.