Whether intentionally not taken or simply forgotten: Failure to comply with a therapy can have far-reaching health consequences for patients. This is exactly where the TOM app comes in.
Many patients are familiar with the problem: the doctor recommends one or more medications and explains when they must be taken. If you are prescribed countless medications at different times of the day in alternating doses, it’s easy to lose track of what you’re taking. However, some patients are also bothered by the flood of medications and therefore deliberately omit a unit here or there.
Many chronically ill people are tired of therapy
According to estimates by the health insurance association Santésuisse, only 60 percent of the approximately 2.2 million chronically ill patients in Switzerland are adherent to treatment. The numbers vary greatly depending on the disease. For example, surveys show that only about half of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease adhere to their physician’s prescribed therapy. For asthmatics, the figure is 55 percent. Among diabetics and people with high blood pressure, the figure is still just under 75 percent, and 80 percent among cancer patients. Another survey found that only about 26 to 59 percent of patients over age 60 are treatment adherent, meaning they take their medications as recommended.
Infidelity to therapy can have irreversible consequences
Whether deliberately not taken or simply forgotten – the result is the same. Hunderttausende Patienten missachten die Therapievorgaben ihrer Ärzte. For a cold or a sprained foot, this may be largely harmless. Especially in chronically ill people, however, treatment noncompliance can have far-reaching health consequences and even lead to irreversible secondary diseases. Pills that are not swallowed can also lead to unnecessary increases in dose, necessitate a change in therapy, and cause additional hospital days. If, for example, antibiotics are taken in too low doses, this can even lead to resistance of the pathogens.
TOM app increases adherence to therapy by 23 percent
This is exactly where the TOM app from the Zurich-based start-up Innovation 6 comes in. It now sends over 1.5 million reminders to its 50,000 users across Europe so they don’t forget to take their medication on time. All users have to do is enter their prescription or select the drug from the database of over 120,000 official medications. Within seconds, new medications can be added to the virtual medicine cabinet and managed.
This reminder has an effect. Initial surveys have shown that out of a total of 700,000 scheduled drug intakes, 520,000 have actually been confirmed as taken. This means that TOM app users’ adherence to treatment is a proud 74 percent, almost a quarter above the Swiss average.
After the successful launch of the app, however, the start-up wants to go even one step further and help its users not only to take their medication on time, but also to get supplies in good time when the medication supply is gradually running out. ( Medication replenishment: fast, simple, digital)