How Remote Prescriptions And Medical Care Can Improve Patient Outcomes
Digital platforms and connected in-home devices link patients, doctors and pharmacists, enabling convenient prescription deliveries and better adherence
When it comes to improving patient outcomes and providing the best care possible, the challenge for medical professionals often isn’t what goes on inside the walls of the clinic or hospital room, but rather how to continue to track progress and monitor patients once they go back home. Whether due to busy lifestyles that make it easy to forget taking one’s medications or circumstances that make even getting to the doctor’s office or pharmacy a daunting challenge, new digital platforms, delivery services and at-home monitoring products are bridging the gap between patients and doctors, enabling convenient, full-service care remotely.
“For the first time, physicians are going to know objectively whether their patients are taking their medications or not, and it really has the potential to make their care significantly better,” Robert McQuade, chief strategy officer of Otsuka Pharmaceutical, told Fast Company.
Examining the ways brands and startups are optimizing the consumer’s pharmacy experience, PSFK researchers identified two key retail and service trends: Remote Prescriptions, where patients connect digitally to remote doctors and pharmacists who provide medical advice and prescribe medications, and Routine Adherence, where at-home devices are used to monitor patient behaviors and daily medication routines. We looked at three examples:
NYC-based digital pharmacy Capsule offers free same-day delivery of prescription medications and access to its team of pharmacists via text, email or phone. When a doctor asks a patient which pharmacy they use, the patient can tell them “Capsule” without creating a Capsule account beforehand. Then, the doctor sends the new prescription or refill to Capsule, and Capsule texts the patient using the phone number that was given to their doctor.
India-based Just Relief launched as an online pharmacy through which patients can fill their prescriptions and buy other health products at a discount. It also offers at-home medical services, including sending technicians to residences to administer vaccinations and diagnose conditions.
Abilify MyCite is a pill with a sensor that digitally tracks if patients have ingested their medication. The wearable sensor—an adhesive patch that’s worn on the abdomen—records vital information such as the time when the patient took the pill. It also measures daily activity levels and heart rate. That information is then communicated via Bluetooth into a software architecture, first on an app on the patient’s mobile device, and then to the care team and family members invited by the patient.
By embedding medical care into the daily lives of patients and making it easier for both patients and doctors to communicate openly, these new technologies are not only changing the ways pharmacies do business, but are also removing barriers in the patient experience for improved outcomes. For even more insights and examples, check out our recent report Reinventing The Pharmacy Experience.
Lead Image: Capsule
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Evan is the co-founder and CEO of Snapchat, a platform for people to maintain the spontaneity of social messaging without having to worry about managing a persistent and constant online identity. Released in 2011, the app lets users take photos, record short videos, add text and drawings and send them to a controlled list of recipients. The content is permanently deleted after being viewed. According to Snapchat, in May 2014 the app's users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Stories content was viewed 500 million times per day. Prior to founding Snapchat, Evan worked as a software developer at Intuit and attended Stanford University.