The goal of this studio was to explore an integrated Medicine Management Solution, with a desire to increase the likelihood for the target Alzheimer Disease (AD) patients to stay at home longer by taking the right medication. Taking the right medication at the right time is a necessary requirement for managing health and maintaining a higher degree of independence. The team believed that by effectively addressing this issue, they would reduce secondary effects from taking incorrect medications, such as premature admittance into assisted living facilities.
The ideal situation for the caregiver and the patient is for the patient to stay at home, instead of moving to a health care facility. The longer the patient can stay at home, which is possible through medication compliance, the simpler it is to keep in touch with their family and the less money is spent on healthcare. Their dignity and independence is also maintained.
The growth of the 70+ segment is a compelling, emerging challenge.
There is no cure for AD yet. All 5 FDA approved medications only slow down the progression of the disease.
Most medication is taken twice a day in the AM and PM, while the caregiver is present with the patient.
Patients rely on caregivers' assistance with medication intake in most, if not all cases.
Some combinations of medications and supplements (vitamins + minerals) can be dangerous.
There are known to be cognitive and behavioral issues with AD patients.
Most of the existing products for dispensing medication are technology-based, with a move toward more complex technology and increased features. They assume that the caregiver or patient can adapt to such solutions.
On average, assisted living can cost an extra $650 to $2,200 per month for dementia patients.
The Live Well team conducted 10 personal, in-depth interviews with Alzheimer’s patients. These were usually done with a caregiver present. Topics of conversation included: living situation, medications, taking medicine, technology and daily activities.
Problem Areas in each of the four journey phases were then identified as a result of the interviews:
• Multiple pharmacies
• Experiences complications during pick-up
• Labor intensive
• Multiple bottles
• Multiple medications
• Complex dosing
• Physical 'handoff'
• Opening multiple medications
• Potential for medication mix-up
• Physical holding of pills
• Dropping medication
• Lost medication
• Difficulty swallowing pills
Concept Medmail was identified as an ideal solution. The doctor prescribes, the pharmacy packages, and the patient receives their customized medication prescription.
The Live Well team developed the digital interface, which would serve as a vehicle for direct communication between the pharmacist, doctor, caregiver and patient. Using Medmail, all stakeholders can verify specific information about the medications online, and are able to track the process much easier. Well ahead of its time, a mail delivery service was identified as a potential partner of Medmail, as well as other businesses who can contribute to streamlining the process and delivery.
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