Posts

Mobile technology to foil counterfeit drugs

An American technology company is utilising mobile phone technology in an attempt to combat the $75 billion-a-year counterfeit drugs market. Copies of proprietary brand drugs not only eat into the margins of pharmaceutical companies, who invest hundreds of millions of dollars in developing medicines every year, but also threaten the health and safety of those that take medicines not subject to stringent industry testing.

Drug counterfeiting is a global problem and is endemic in certain parts of the developing world where up to 30% of all medicines are counterfeit. To combat the increasing availability of fake drugs, PharmaSecure has developed a system that creates a direct link between manufacturers and the end user. This provides consumers with a guarantee that the medicines they are taking were produced by the licensed and regulated company.

PharmaSecure’s track and trace authentication system provides a unique ID code on product packaging, which can be used to track every stage of the drug’s journey through the supply chain right into the hands of the end customer. The customer can then use a simple SMS messaging system to verify authenticity. The system ensures the customer is protected from the dangers of counterfeit medicine and the company protects its trademark as well as maintaining the integrity of its products and brand identity.

Due to the simplicity of the system and the relatively low cost of implementation, PharmaSecure track and trace programme has the ability to be scaled on a global level and deal a severe blow to the counterfeiters.

Internet and smartphone-based nursing can help diabetic patients

Nursing via the internet and smartphones can be an effective way to help patients with uncontrolled diabetes to manage their care.

According to a new study conducted by McGill University, Canada for the Public Health Agency of Canada, tele-monitoring is also increasingly seen as a workable way of delivering care to patients with chronic conditions who live in remote places, or who require monitoring on a long-term basis.

During the pilot project, diabetic patients in four regions of Quebec submitted their blood sugar readings to a nurse every day using a secure website.

Patients also answered a series of questions online about their exercise, diet and food care.

Their nurses then monitored their responses, providing appropriate advice as and when required. If a patient’s readings were a cause for concern, then they appeared in red text and triggered an alarm.

Nurses also emailed their patients educational material to help them manage their conditions.

Antonia Arnaert, professor of nursing at McGill University, said: “Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, or who have gone through surgery, often have lots of questions and the doctors and nurses don’t always have the time to answer them.

“With tele-nursing, whether using video-conferencing or text-messaging, patients say they feel they get lots of attention from their nurses, because they know that they have their full attention for an hour.”

“They said that tele-monitoring provided them with a sense of confidence in their ability to manage their diabetic condition themselves.”

Mobile platform to ease prescription communication for US doctors

Smartphone for medical useA healthcare communications network in the USA has revealed a new mobile platform for managing prescription plans.

NaviNet, a web-based provider of health messaging systems, will be using a system called Mobile Connect for PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Managers) to allow pharmaceutical companies to communicate with doctors and insurance providers.

Mobile Connect for PBMs lets doctors check their patients’ insurance plans during check-ups to see which drugs they can and cannot administer according to their plan.

Doctors will also be able to receive information on whether patients are sticking to their medication schedules based on refill data from the pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

This will help them to improve their levels of care for each patient. It also enables them to access this vital information quickly and easily, saving them time on research and administration that can be better devoted to clinical practice.

Although the medical system is slightly different in the USA than it is in the UK, Mobile Connect for PBMs shows how smartphones can be used to improve communication between pharmaceutical companies and their end users and stakeholders in order to improve both sales and service.

Around 80% of doctors in America use smartphones, a figure that is expected to be replicated in the UK within the next couple of years. It’s clear that healthcare companies’ IT and marketing strategies need to embrace the smartphone and all it has to offer.