Non-Adherence – There’s An App For That

I was very surprised to read a blog post the other day about how mobile applications to increase compliance are “intrusive” and how the whole concept is shortsighted. After stating what an enormous problem non-adherence is, I think the only reasonable conclusion could be to try every possible tool to help patients stay on the right medicine regiment. When non-adherence causes 89,000 deaths and $100 billion dollars every year in hospital costs only in the United States we simply cannot turn our backs on a solution because of some negative reaction without further observation.

The post also mentions a study about an application for patients with Type 2 diabetes, that reportedly failed to provide help and was rather annoying in the eyes of the participants. There are no numbers or percentages to really measure how unsuccessful the experiment turned out to be, only a few examples of negative feedback to prove and emphasize how “aggressive” these applications are.

I however agree with the statement, that there isn’t one solution that is going to magically solve the problem of non-adherence. It has to be a very balanced mix of different components, that in the end help patients (and their physicians) with the dosages and tracking of medications. But I also believe that a smart and easy-to-use application could be a complimentary element in the mix. The article quotes the New England Journal of Medicine and its list of tools that could help increase patient compliance: tracking prescriptions, paying providers based on outcomes or having lower co-payments. As I said before, the fight against non-adherence has to combine different but equally important elements, so an app wouldn’t make these changes unnecessary. But all fails if patients don’t remember to take their medication.

The blog post includes a list of automated pill dispensers as the possible solutions to increase compliance. Here is one example:

The SIMpill Medication Adherence System text-messages the patient’s mobile phone if the patient does not take their medication or takes it at the incorrect time. If the patient still does not take their medication, an alert can be sent to their caregiver or healthcare provider. The system also monitors prescription refills and alerts the pharmacy when the patient is running low.

While I think this is a complex and wonderful solution of the problem, I can’t understand how a mobile application could be more “intrusive” than this. How can one state that an app is too aggressive and poorly perceived and then list automated tools with alarms, messages and alerts not only to the patients but to their providers. We can’t just say no to a possible solution because it didn’t work for a group of people. With adherence different methods work for different patients. That is why there is a great need for the invention of several complex applications and solutions, so everyone could choose what fits them best.

(Source: World of DTC Marketing)

Mobile Email Marketing – User Habits To Consider

More and more people access their email account from their smartphones – and this fact should be considered when sending out newsletters.

Of the 6.9 Billion people on the world today 5.2 Billion own a mobile phone. To put that into perspective: of the world’s population 1.6 Billion people own a TV, 1.2 Billion own computers and 1 Billion own cars. So to say that mobile email marketing has a great potential is an understatement. But to create an effective strategy, we need to know how people use their mobile devices.

According to an analysis published by Google, from 89% of smartphone users who took part in the study 82% stated, that they use email applications on their devices regularly. Another research conducted in London’s e-Dialog office supports the previous findings suggesting that reading and sending emails on mobile phones are common activities, especially among younger users. Also, the study states that email marketing is clearly more effective with those having a smartphone compared to those who own mobiles with basic features. One of the key elements to a successful email marketing campaign is investing great efforts into usability. Easy to use applications and easy to view messages result in higher engagement whereas problems with usability is often the reason for lack of success.

The infographic summarizes the findings of the study on mobile habits by e-Dialog:


(Source: The Relevant Marketer, Marketing Morzsák)