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Case study: The smart way to ensure adherence to prescribed medications

The healthcare challenge

It’s estimated that up to half of prescribed medicines are not used as the prescriber intended. Non-adherence – or under-use – represents not only a missed opportunity for health improvement but an obvious waste of resources and danger to patient health. One recent study estimates the cost to the NHS at more than £500 million per year.

The solution and outcomes to date

With funding support from the Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare scheme, Folium Optics, a plastics display technology business set up by two former employees of HP Labs in Bristol, has developed My Health Tags, a prototype product that improves medical adherence. They worked in partnership with Pumpco and Designability to develop the product.

The ‘smart’ electronic tags are attached to medical packaging, wirelessly linked to a remote cloud service and a separate display unit. The tags, which are reusable, lightweight and robust, have an always-on vivid display and show clearly what medicine should be taken and when.

The tags still work if taken outside the home and can be easily configured by pharmacists, carers and users. The technology integrates well with people’s lifestyles, making it easier for them to manage their medication, and acts as a bridge to higher intervention solutions such as medicine compliance aids.

The initial target group is 65 to 75 year olds and the product is now being tested in the market.

Support from the West of England AHSN

The West of England AHSN has provided invaluable advice and support, from how to work effectively with the healthcare sector and identifying who Folium needed to be talking to, including Pumpco and Designability who they met at one of our networking events. We also helped them with their application and presentation for the SBRI funding.


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