July 7, 2005

United We Stand

Filed under: General — Tom @ 3:40 pm

US flag Union Jack

Marvel of the Day: Pill Bottles That Remind Patients to Take Their Meds

Filed under: Marvels,Privacy/ID Theft — Tom @ 3:20 pm

From an Institute for Policy Innovation TechBytes release:

The best pharmaceutical science ever created is of little value when patients don’t take their medication. And it may even be harmful if patients don’t take their prescriptions properly.

Very few people are aware of how big a problem “non-compliance” is. According to the National Pharmaceutical Council and American Hospital Association, more than half of patients either forget to take their prescription drugs or simply refuse to take them.

- Only a third of patients take their medication as prescribed;
- A third take some of their medicine; and
- The final third never even get their prescriptions filled.

Non-compliance has a huge negative effect on the quality of life and longevity. More than 125,000 Americans die each year because they failed to take their prescription medications as directed. In addition to the human toll, the economic costs of non-compliance are enormous, unnecessary and strain the health care industry. Failing to follow prescriptions costs more than $270 million in additional hospitalization and other medical costs – each day.

… Of course, while some patients are willfully non-compliant, many just forget to take their pills or are confused about their dosing regimen.

And for the latter group, a new technology has a solution that will reduce the incidents of non-compliance — pill bottles that remind patients to take their medication. Using radio modules built into a computerized bottle, a reminder is sent via telephone from a central server if the container isn’t opened when it’s supposed to be. If the message is ignored, a caregiver is notified.

So just remember . . . oh, wait, that’s not right; the new technology does the remembering and it will get a message to you.

The notification of the caregiver seems a bit heavyhanded to me, but if the patient agrees to it willingly (I know, a BIG if in this nanny-state world), why not?

Operational Odds and Ends

Filed under: General — Tom @ 9:36 am

I have been among the many targets of the apparently high volume of trackback spam that has been polluting blogs and forums recently.

I received 35+ comments linking to poker sites four different times yesterday. Since I moderate comments, I can nuke them before you see them relatively painlessly. If I did not moderate comments, I would to go through the time grunt of deleting one comment from 35+ different posts.

I recognize that commenters would rather have instant comment visibility, but the spam and the unfortunate incivility of some commenters forces me to continuing moderating comments for the time being until I can look into spam blockers and nasty-word filters, both of which are not at the top of the priority list compared to other business concerns.

On a much more cheerful note, I’ve had web whiz Charles Moser move some things around, and have a number of great new additions to the blogroll, so check ‘em out. Other improvements are in the works, so stay tuned.