For people who forget to take their meds—which is about half of us—Janssen Healthcare Innovation has introduced a free mobile app and Web-based platform designed to help anyone with almost any type of cell phone take their medications as prescribed.
Janssen, part of New Brunswick, NJ-based Johnson & Johnson, says its Care4Today Mobile Health Manager is intended to help prevent needless additional healthcare services that often result when patients can’t seem to stick with the program. The company says it’s a bigger problem than people realize—costing Americans more than $100 billion in unnecessary healthcare spending and an estimated 125,000 deaths each year.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about health outcomes,” says David Tripi of Janssen’s healthcare innovation team in San Diego, where the mobile apps and website were developed. “We want to do everything we can to make sure our customers can get the maximum health benefit.”
Tripi also says Janssen is not concerned about making money from this application.
In a recent phone call, he says the reminder system is intended to work with any service provider or service plan, and with almost any mobile phone, including feature phones as well as smartphones. The system also is not limited to reminders for J&J products; the platform can send a photo image of more than 20,000 pills and capsules, including generics, to help consumers recognize the medication they’re supposed to take.
“This is not a finished product,” Tripi adds. Janssen plans to add Spanish language reminders to the system in the near future, and add additional releases every six months.
Tripi says consumers can set up reminders for any kind of prescription, over-the-counter medication, nutritional supplement, or other recommended activities.
The platform uses a secure, two-way messaging system that sends a reminder message to a mobile phone, and prompts a response that is recorded in the user’s adherence report. Users can view the report online to see how well they’re sticking with their schedule, and they share the information with their healthcare provider or caretaker.
Tripi also points to two particular features:
—Care4Family enables family members to link with the patient account, so they can help monitor medication adherence. Relatives get a notification if their loved ones fail to take their medications on time.
—Care4Charity offers users an incentive by selecting a charity that will get a 5-cent donation from Janssen (through May 14, 2014) for each day they indicate they have taken all of their meds on time. The initial charities include AIDS United, American Diabetes Association, and Save the Children.