Making management of medication easier
Over 30 million people across Europe and North America self-administer injections at home, yet as many as 1-in-2 patients fail to adhere to their medication schedule. Using an injector pen every 2-3 weeks is typical for chronic diseases such as COPD, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s. However, this is challenging to manage versus taking a daily tablet. There is a lack of routine or natural rhythm to taking medication in this way.
We collaborated with HealthBeacon to address the challenge in a more fundamental way by developing a better and more connected care-management system – one that supports the patient and the healthcare providers.
Using our proprietary Human Factors Engineering (HFE) process, we helped HealthBeacon become a foolproof system for the effective management of medication. The worry of forgetting to inject or accidentally over-medicating is eliminated, proper rotation of injection locations is ensured, and the device aids in properly disposing of sharps. Put simply, it allows people with chronic diseases to retain a sense of normality and finally makes in-home medication adherence easy.
A service approach
Central to this connected system is a medical device that supports patients to achieve greater medication adherence at home by reducing complexity and improving communication with healthcare professionals. The IoT solution, with connectivity provided by Vodafone, gives prompts and reminders about your next injection. Data is sent to an online dashboard where a nursing team can view progress and review medication-taking habits and trends over time. When using the device for the first time you can record where you injected yourself, so that it can alternate locations in the body and tell you where to inject next.
Our research revealed that people tend to take their medication in the kitchen area, rather than find a more private location in the bathroom or bedroom. This is because the medication is stored in the kitchen fridge and, in most chronic cases, using an injector pen soon becomes part of normal life rather than something to be hidden away. For this reason, we designed HealthBeacon to look like an everyday appliance or white goods product. It is intentionally about the size of a small coffee machine or toaster, to feel natural in the home environment.
Having completed a successful IPO, HealthBeacon is now expecting to grow its user base 10-fold. Their success will allow them to digitally connect tens of thousands of patients suffering from chronic diseases globally. HealthBeacon’s smart injection care management system is now FDA approved and available in 15 countries.
With major new contracts and significant investment, the system will roll out across the US and Canada under the Hamilton Beach Health brand name. Clients include the NHS, Teva and Novartis. HealthBeacon is a pioneering example of digital therapeutics and connected healthcare, where data provides the all-important bridge between patients, healthcare professionals, and pharmacies.