Harvard Pilgrim to pilot wireless pillbox for CKD patients

By: Brian Dolan | Aug 31, 2009        

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MedMinder Maya unitNew England-based health plan Harvard Pilgrim Health Care announced plans to pilot a medication adherence study that makes use of MedMinder Systems’ wireless-enabled pillbox.  The randomized controlled study, which is set to begin in early September, aims to determine how effective MedMinder’s system is on a population of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD affects 26 million Americans and it currently has no cure. Consistent use of the right medication regimen can slow the disease in some cases. The disease can progress to kidney failure, which then requires dialysis or kidney transplant.

MedMinder “helps patients take the right medicine at the right time” while enabling caregivers to monitor the patient’s adherence to their medication regimens. MedMinder’s system includes a Maya unit, which is a wireless-enabled pillbox that can trigger alerts and reminders to patients, families and caregivers. The pillbox lights up, sounds alarms, places phone calls and even emails users for alerts and notifications. Tracking data for adherence can be monitored through MedMinder’s online portal, which can also feed into other clinical systems like EHRs, the company said in a release.

“Medication adherence is critical to successful treatment outcomes, especially with chronically ill patients,” Lydia Bernstein, Director, Clinical Quality Initiatives at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care stated in a company release. “We are always looking for ways to help patients and their families better cope with their illnesses and complex treatment regimens. The findings from the evaluation of MedMinder’s Maya system will help us better understand the potential and suitability of this innovative adherence solution.”

For more on MedMinder, check out this video tutorial of the device after the jump: