When we think of adherence in the medical world, it’s often simplified to something along the lines of the degree to which a patient correctly follows medical advice. It’s a simple statement with many, many moving parts, especially when we’re talking about patients with multiple chronic conditions.
Medication, specifically, is traditionally a big part of adherence, and although medication is a crucial part of treating any disease, health is so much more than medication alone. How patients live their lives every day – including diet, exercise, and sleep – affects their health in profound ways. True adherence cannot exist without total health management, and how we manage it matters. There are two elements to the equation that must happen for total health management, and more specifically, pairing tools that enable patients to easily track their medications, symptoms, diet, and exercise with crucial patient support service will lead to true adherence. So how is this achieved? Let’s take a closer look at the two elements needed for this to work: simplification and consolidation.
In an increasingly complex healthcare system, it’s very easy to over-engineer a single aspect of health when in reality, what we need is a simplification of how we manage all aspects of our health. This is especially true for patients managing more than one chronic condition. There are so many things these folks need to be keeping track of to achieve total adherence, and without the ability to track them in a simple way, the task becomes borderline impossible. And aside from adherence to their regimen, there are dozens of logistical elements to managing a chronic patient’s health. Everything from finding discounts for expensive medications to figuring out how to get to their many doctor’s appointments; for these patients to succeed, they need a simplification and streamlining of all of this, preferably in one place. Having the right tools, like digital platforms, is a game-changer. In fact, studies show patients who are introduced to support through digital platforms are four times more likely to utilize the support services and remain on therapy significantly longer than those who do not utilize digital options.
Along the same lines of simplification, consolidation of how we manage the aspects of a patient’s health is just as important – especially for those with complex health issues.
Take a patient diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) as an example. MS can show up in a plethora of ways – it’s broad in its symptoms, and thus treatment plans vary widely for it. There is no one way of diagnosing and treating the disease – it’s extremely individualized, and that means there are a lot of elements that must be tracked for total health adherence to be possible. Which medications are you taking, and when? What are you eating? How is exercise affecting your symptoms? Without the proper tools to keep track of everything, we can’t expect patients to be successful, and this is where consolidation plays a key role in success. Consolidating everything into one place helps reduce costs, improve care coordination, increase efficiency, and enhance patient access, and further, in some cases, provides a compliance buffer so that pharmaceutical manufacturers are able to digitally provide vital resources on their medications to patients properly.
Without the simplification and consolidation of current healthcare management, we simply cannot expect patients to achieve total health management. Only when we give patients the chance to succeed by providing streamlined tools will we enable them to achieve true adherence.
About the Author
Luke Buchanan is the Co-Founder & CEO at Redi.Health, located in Columbus, Ohio. Before founding Redi.Health in 2021, Luke was the previous Director of Pharma Account Management at Cover My Meds. Luke received his B.A. in philosophy from Capital University. He is passionate about empowering patients to take control of and contribute to their health journey by putting more simplified tools in the hands of patients.
Redi.Health was recently included in CB Insights’ fourth annual Digital Health 150 — an annual ranking of the 150 most promising private companies transforming healthcare with digital technology. Winners were selected from a pool of over 13,000 companies.
About Impetus Digital
Impetus Digital helps life science organizations virtualize their in-person meetings and events through our best-in-class InSite Touchpoints™ and InSite Events™ offerings, delivered with white-glove service and 360° coverage and care. Leveraging our large portfolio of cutting-edge online collaboration tools, clients can seamlessly gather insights from, and collaborate with, internal and external stakeholders. To find out more about Impetus Digital, visit our website, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter, or book a demo at meetwithimpetus.com