A pair of Baltimore teams focused on medication use are joining forces in the quest to ensure patients follow their prescribed plans.
Tech company emocha Mobile Health and the Baltimore-based University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions are collaborating to offer a medication review that combines pharmacists and a mobile app. This will be offered as emocha expands to hospitals, health systems and health insurers, said CEO Sebastian Seigeur.
“This is now our standard,” he said.
emocha’s app provides patients with a way to record oneself taking their medication, and it has reminders and other tools to help patients stick to their treatment regimens. This also includes support from healthcare professionals. The new agreement is adding a support team that is led by clinicians to ensure that when patients leave treatment, they have all of the necessary information about the regimen and what they should be taking.
At the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions’ eHealth Center, a pharmacist, pharmacy students and pharmacy technician will conduct reviews to ensure that patients are taking the right medication as prescribed, said Dr. Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, the Center’s executive director. The Center has existing patient care programs that optimize medication and management, and sees technology and telehealth as important tools.
“This partnership will allow us to be at patients’ homes (virtually) and serve as adherence coaches without the need of traveling or been physically present at their home,” de Bittner said via email. “This method provides a convenient and cost effective alternative to improve medication adherence, medication use and clinical outcomes while reducing unnecessary health care costs.”
Here’s how it will work: Under supervision of a pharmacist, pharmacy students will review initial videos uploaded by the patients taking their medication. The students will assess if there are any issues with behavior or technique, and the pharmacist will conduct an assessment. This includes a medication list containing all medications patients are taking, including over-the-counter and home remedies along with the prescribed medications.
The pharmacist will also work with a patient’s primary care provider, and “problems identified by the pharmacist related to their medications, medical conditions or medication adherence will be addressed and recommendations made to the primary care provider and the patient,” Dr. de Bittner said.
For emocha, it’s an opportunity to work with a Baltimore-based team that is addressing the issues around ensuring that patients stick to medication and the associated healthcare costs.
“I got intrigued because it’s one of the top pharmacy schools in the country,” Seigeur said. “They really believe in doing things right.”-30-