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self-monitoring: a medication adherence solution

A small heart rate monitor machine around a young mans wristMedication adherence - the extent to which a patient complies with taking their prescribed medicine - is one of the most important aspects in treatment and recovery. However, studies have shown that up to 50% of people neglect to take their medication as prescribed.

Failure to meet the medication intake has been found to result in development of drug resistance, accelerated progression of disease, and development of many irreversible health complications, as well as increased fatalities.

Benefits of Medication Adherence

Beyond the dangers that result from non-adherence as spelled out above, medication adherence presents a number of benefits. One of the main benefits of medication adherence is minimized drug wastage. When a patient follows their prescription to the letter, they are likely to consume fewer drugs during the course of treatment. This is as opposed to taking drugs then leaving them after a while and then going back to the hospital to get more when the illness becomes more severe.

Another benefit is the reduced cost of healthcare. Taking the medication as prescribed ensures quick recovery and, more often than not, one gets better with no need to return the hospital. However, taking some medication but not completing the course or taking the correct dosage hinders healing. The patient ends up spending more money going back to the hospital.

Medication Adherence Solution

A male doctor in white coat with a stethoscope holding a pill with glowing colorful dots and linesOne way to combat the issue of medication non-adherence is to employ self-monitoring. Self-monitoring is among the many patient monitoring techniques that not only track a patient’s progress but also their medication intake and its effectiveness. Among the many areas where self-monitoring has been used is among people with blood pressure issues.

Self-monitoring blood pressure at home has been found to contribute to a reduction of high blood pressure among people with hypertension. Self-monitoring utilizes remote gadgets that enable people to monitor their progress without having to go to the clinic all the time. 

Self-monitoring (otherwise known as self-tracking, biomonitoring, or health and wellness monitoring) will continue improving patients’ lives. By self-collecting specimen samples at home for sending to the lab for testing, and by using wearable gadgets that digitally process health data for the patient and their care providers, people are able to work closely with their care team and have more agency in managing their own health to get things back on track.

Digital technologies, wearables, and remote specimen collection are options to think about when devising smarter solutions to the problem of medication non-adherence.

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Find more resources here: Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

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