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Front Porch puts mHealth medication management on front burner

May 17, 2013
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (Front Porch Center) and CareSpeak Communications have teamed up to develop mHealth applications for better medication compliance among older adults. The companies’ recent pilot provided participants at Front Porch’s senior communities with patient-specific medication reminders via text-enabled cell phones and CareSpeak’s mHealth technology.

Of those who participated in the “Minding Our Meds” pilot, 66 percent reported that the mHealth system helped them keep track of their medications, and 48 percent agreed or strongly agreed their chronic conditions were better managed using the system. The real test is often what happens after the test is over, and 52 percent of those in the pilot said they would like to continue to use a similar text-based program to improve their medication adherence.

Medication management is a challenge for senior residents and caregivers alike. Poor medication compliance costs the U.S. health system $290 billion a year, including emergency room visits, hospital readmissions and the complications caused by drug-drug interactions.

“The average older adult takes more than four prescription medications and two over‐the‐counter drugs per day, with forgetfulness cited as the most common reason for not appropriately adhering to proper medication intake,” said Davis Park, director, Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing in a company release. “Good collaboration efforts with CareSpeak on the pilot helped older adults and their caregivers change behavior, keeping seniors healthy, independent and more connected to their support network.”

The pilot was funded by a grant from the Center for Technology and Aging (CTA), which released an mHealth Toolkit in April to assist organizations wishing to develop mobile disease management programs. “mHealth is an emerging technology that increasingly offers providers new options for improving the care of America’s aging population, particularly those with a chronic disease,” said David Lindeman, PhD, Director of the Center for Technology and Aging in an announcement. “This new toolkit offers organizations hands-on strategies and best practices for using mHealth technologies as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

CTA’s ADOPT Toolkit also includes resources for remote patient monitoring, care transitions and other mHealth projects.

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