Mobile application supports medication

Oriola’s Swedish pharmacy chain Kronans Apotek has a mobile app with an automatic reminder service that informs users when it is time to collect their medicines and renew their prescriptions. A new study shows that the reminder service has increased collection of medicines from the pharmacy by 16.6–22.7%. “This is a great result as it means that more patients will use their medicines correctly,” says Anna Skarph, Chief Pharmacist, Kronans Apotek.

Several studies have found that patients’ medical compliance is 33–52%. There are many reasons for poor compliance: patients may not think they need the medicine, patients feel healthy again, patients forget to collect their medicines or use them, etc. Failure to take medicines is a large expense for society. It is estimated that 6–16% of all serious hospital visits are medicine-related. About half of these are due to poor medical compliance.

 “If patients don’t collect their medicines from the pharmacy, it also means they won’t be taking the medication,” says Anna Skarph.

“Therefore, the first step in increasing medical compliance is to get the patients to collect their medicines in the first place. Our study has shown that Kronans Apotek’s app and manually timed reminders work very well.”

Kronans Apotek has been offering its customers reminder services via text message or email for a long time, but with the app the reminders are provided as automatic push notifications. The study showed that patients receiving reminders collect their prescriptions far more frequently than those who do not receive the reminders.

In the patients who received reminders there was a 16.6% increase in the collection of the second supply of medication, a 19.2% increase in the collection of the third supply and a 22.7% increase in the collection of the fourth supply, compared with those who did not receive the reminders.

 “This is an excellent result, which shows that reminders can contribute to better medicine use, to benefit both patients and society,” says Anna Skarph.