Smart medication adherence packaging helps patients keep track of their medications with strategic support from their care team

When people suffering from chronic illness stop taking their medications as prescribed, their condition and associated symptoms worsen, potentially leading to an increase in hospital visits. Smart adherence products track medication intake and send real-time data to a patient’s care team. These technologies empower care teams with more knowledge and insight into whether a patient is taking medications as prescribed, so care providers can better support a patient and intervene as necessary.

Smart adherence products benefit all stakeholders involved with patient care, but limited awareness of these products and their value prevents widespread adoption. Currently, medication adherence products receive limited support from public and private insurance providers in Canada, making them largely inaccessible for patients and care teams. As such, understanding and publicizing the inherent value of smart adherence packaging products is necessary to increase accessibility.

This is why researchers at the University of Waterloo looked to explore the perceived value––in other words the worth, usefulness or importance––key healthcare stakeholder groups place on smart adherence products, like our CpaX™ Connected Adherence Packaging, in a new Pharmacy study.

Through one-on-one interviews and qualitative analysis with patients, caregivers, community pharmacists, pharmacy owners, physicians and private or public insurance providers, researchers confirmed stakeholders had limited to no knowledge of smart adherence products capable of tracking and recording real-time medication intake data.

Despite the lack of awareness, all stakeholders recognized the inherent value of these connected technologies. Study participants noted smart products could improve patient autonomy, reinforce patient adherence to their medication regimens using reminder functionality, reduce caregiver burden and improve communication and relationships within a patient’s circle of care.

Man uses smart adherence CpaX product.

Furthermore, the participants identified several expected benefits from incorporating connected adherence products into a patient’s daily routine:

  • Improved adherence and health – stakeholders expressed connected packaging would improve patient health outcomes and foster better communication between patients and their care providers. Real-time data monitoring provides transparency and more personalized support between patients and their care teams.
  • Reducing dependence on caregivers – participants noted these products could promote independent living for a patient. As a result, this would provide peace of mind for both patients and caregivers and reduce caregiver stress.
  • Keeping clinicians informed – participating caregivers and healthcare providers asserted the availability of real-time medication intake data could provide clinicians with useful information about their patient’s adherence, such as whether a patient is taking medications.
  • Tracking use of high-cost medications – interviewed insurance providers confirmed that real-time data monitoring could optimize the use and tracking of expensive medications, to minimize waste.
  • Improving pharmacist role in medication management – pharmacist stakeholders anticipated that implementing these products could improve their role in the medication management process and expand their role into primary care.

Not only do these findings provide insights into the successful adoption of smart adherence products, but researchers also note insurance providers may need to evaluate their funding models to make these products more accessible to patients.

This study also supports other recent studies that demonstrate the benefits of real-time medication intake data tracking.

For more information on connected packaging solutions such as our CpaX™ smart blister packs, we welcome you to get in touch with us below.