Medication adherence is the pharma industry largest problem because medication only works well if the prescribed pills are actually taken. Researchers and medical staff have been working on devices and techniques to improve medication adherence for a long time.
Hereafter you can see a list of the most popular medication adherence devices:
Pill box dispenser
This is typically a plastic box with little compartiments containing the pills that are supposed to be taken every day. There is typically a little compartiment for Monday, another one for Tuesday and so on. Sometimes this box is filled in weekly by a family member or nurse.
|Pill box dispensers|
There are also hardware automatic pill box dispensers.
Medication Event Monitoring Systems (MEMS)
The MEMS is a medication vial cap that electronically records the date and time of bottle opening. It is also known as the "imperfect gold standard,"  due to its recording effectiveness in measurement of patient adherence. However, it could be time consuming, expensive, resource intensive and may not be suitable for all medications/formulations.
In general, the packaging service removes the medications from their vials and instead groups them in “bubbles” packaged according to administration time. Rather than receiving a bag full of pill bottles, the patient receives a bubble pack with each bubble identifying the medication by the name, date, and time to be taken.
|Sample bubble pack|
Text Message reminders
In general, the hospital sets up a schedule for the patient's medication and the patient receives a Text Message on his cell phone art the scheduled time. Some Text Messaging systems allow a two-ways communication allowing the user to confirm he took the medication. Even though Scientific studies have proven adherence improvements in patients, the major barrier in using text messaging technology may is deterioration of interest.
Comprehensive medication reviews are increasingly available at community pharmacies and hospitals and through private practice pharmacists. The reviews are known by other names as well, such as medication therapy management and pharmacist consultation.
Manuel Acevedo's personal opinion
On the one hand, none of the existing adherence techniques provide motivation to take meds. On the other hand, medication is such a personal thing that it belongs to a personal device such as your iPhone or wearable device.
These two reasons imply that the ideal medication adherence device is an iPhone, iPad or wearable device with a nice color screen to turn medication into a positive experience.