Patient adherence to medication regimes remains a major healthcare threat. Hospital readmittance, cost containment, and overall outcomes all suffer when patients don’t take their meds as prescribed. We’ve written about Montefiore Medical Center’s AiCure smartphone app designed to help stroke survivors remember to take medication. Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital studied more than 53,000 admitted patients to track the effectiveness of low-cost medication reminders.

Royal Philips health technology company and Spencer Health Solutions recently announced the expansion to Europe of their medication-adherence device, the Spencer Smart Hub. The Smart Hub dispenses pre-packaged unit doses of medication in patients’ homes. The system also includes a connection to a local pharmacy and a monitoring app that can send alerts to the patient, family members, caregivers, and physicians. According to a whitepaper Spencer published in June 2019, average adherence rates for using the Smart Hub were more than 95%.

The Smart Hub doesn’t just dispense and log medications; it also gathers valuable patient data at the same time. The system asks health status questions when it dispenses medications. The June whitepaper asserted a greater than 81% response rate to the health questions.

Medication non-adherence is not a single-cause issue, often stemming from a variety of reasons in play. For example, a patient may have difficulty understanding directions, suffer from poor memory, abuse substances, or have problems paying for medication, either directly or via third-party insurance. The Philips-Spencer may not help in all cases, but is likely to help increase adherence for most patients who may have problems with taking their medication as prescribed.