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South West UK SME with expertise in cutting-edge screen technology has developed a smart medication adherence solution which automatically reminds citizens to take medication and can alert medical staff and carers in the event that medication is not taken. The solution increases medication adherence which contributes to better health outcomes and reduces healthcare costs. The company seeks partners interested in licensing the technology.
It is estimated that up to 50% of medicines are not taken as prescribed. The consequences are significant causing deterioration of existing conditions, increased risk of complications, hospitalisation and at worst death. All of these are estimated to cost the National Health Service in the UK about £1 billion per annum and globally up to £300 billion to healthcare services.
A major reason for failure to take medication is forgetfulness, be that from failing memory due to age and mental health disorders or a busy daily routine. The UK SME has expertise in reflective display technology and is developing applications in a range of sectors, including healthcare and defense. With funding from a Small Business Research Initiative Award the SME has applied the display technology to develop a smart electronic tag solution which attaches to medicine packaging. The tag wirelessly links to the cloud and to a portable display unit. The tag and display both remind the patient when to take the medication, record when medicines are taken and inform healthcare professionals and carers, alerting them of any failures to administer a dose. This information is displayed on the always-on vivid ultra low power tag and unit. The tags are fitted with sensors which monitor temperature, light level and motion to provide information and data to healthcare professionals and others about the medicines day to day usage.
The tags are easy to use, do not rely on a mobile phone and are simple to configure by a pharmacist, carer or user. Being lightweight and robust they are easily transportable and work effectively outside of the home environment.
Current solutions rely on ownership of a smart phone which can exclude certain user groups. Notifications on smartphones are numerous which presents a real risk that alerts to take medication will get overlooked. Current smart packaging solutions are restricted to the container which requires refilling and medication dispensers are large and less portable. This solution provides a more discrete, convenient and accessible solution which integrates with exiting packaging and provides the benefits of a connected device without the need for a smartphone.
The company has carried out a small clinical trial which returned positive results. The company is seeking commercial partners interested in licencing the technology.
• Portable, reusable, lightweight, robust tag that attaches to medicine packaging or containers
• Continuous monitoring of medicine providing important data about usage and effectiveness
• Simple, easy to use, no reliance on mobile phone so suitable for elderly and less technology literature populations
• Opportunity to develop the product to incorporate technology into adhesive labels
• Solution enables greater independence to users and carers
• Uses plastic reflective display technology which is ultra thin,light weight, and moulds to any shape
• Saves costs of wasted medication and avoidable deterioration in health conditions and hospitalisation
• Improves health outcomes
The company was awarded funding through the Small Business Research Healthcare Initiative which is an NHS programme which aims to promote UK economic growth whilst addressing unmet health needs to develop the solution.
Patents have been filed in the UK, United States and Europe.
The company seeks partners in the healthcare sector to licence the technology. Likely partners are medical device companies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, health insurance companies and organisations responsible for elderly and social care.