Compliance is key.
We could have all the medicines in the world and it still wouldn't make a difference if our patients don't comply with their medication schedules.
After speaking with several knowledgeable sponsors about this issue, our team decided to tackle this problem in such a way as to impact as many people as possible. We wanted to develop a solution to help people of all ages and background become more compliant in taking their medicine regularly while making it as easy as possible to do so.
Compliance and medication scheduling is especially an issue in our aging population. We envision something like The Med Manager being very useful in nursing homes and assisted living communities. More than 40% of people over age 65 take five or more medications, and each year about 1/3 of them experience a serious adverse effect. Being able to effectively schedule and track compliance in this population is crucial for safety and good patient outcomes (source).
Enter The Med Manager
The Med Manager is your personal voice-controlled medication scheduling assistant. It was built on the Amazon Echo with the purpose of being the simplest way to track your medication regimen. The Med Manager is capable of recognizing over 1000 drugs, most dose types, frequency types, and best of all it is trained to comprehend natural linguistic phrases associated with medication scheduling.
More than just scheduling
One of the best parts of The Med Manager is that it keeps track of your compliance to your medication regimen. To do this, you just tell Alexa you took your medication and it gets tracked. You can the request a compliance report from Alexa and she will tell you which medication you have missed in the past and when you missed them.
The biggest barrier was that two of us had no experience with development on the Amazon Echo. This was also our first time working with DynamoDB, which was a great learning experience.
The biggest takeaway for us is the realization that the future of smart home assistants is very bright. Voice controlled assistants will be very helpful for many segments of our population, especially the elderly.
To the future
We would like to develop an app to be used in conjunction with The Med Manager that is capable of letting users visualize their data and share that with their primary care providers. We would also like to keep track of health data so we can keep track of things like activity level and circadian rhythm. This data combined with our compliance reporting would be extremely helpful for doctors in assessing patient outcomes.