Medication reminder & dispenser help ensure compliance; work with Tunstall's market-leading intelligent home response system
[ClickPress, Tue Aug 09 2005] 09 August 2005 - Tunstall, the leading provider of personal and home reassurance telecare solutions, has announced a complete medication management solution to help people to manage their own medication compliance, especially those with complex regimes.
The solution comprises a new medication reminder facility on Tunstall's market-leading Lifeline 4000+ intelligent home response unit, and a 28-dose medication dispenser unit with radio transmitter. The medication reminder has been designed for people who may not be able to remember to take their medication, giving automatic reminder messages that require a user response, and alerting carers if no response is received.
The medication dispenser provides an additional level of support for people who may have difficulty differentiating between their tablets, opening safety bottles or remembering what dosage to take when. The dispenser gives users access to the correct number of pills at the correct time and is portable, so that medication can be taken when required, without limiting the user.
Medication non-compliance - the failure to take drugs on time in the dosages prescribed - is dangerous and costly. In the UK, the country's 238 Primary Care Trusts spend an estimated 17% of their total budget on medication compliance and up to 11.4% of hospital admissions are due to people not taking their prescribed drugs when they should.
Up to 50% of NHS prescription drugs are not taken as prescribed and 20% are never taken at all - losing the NHS £1.4 billion a year. Medication compliance is clearly important not only in helping older people to manage their conditions effectively but in ensuring health and social care resources are deployed efficiently.
Authorised carers can dial into a user's Lifeline 4000+, enter a PIN code and access a voice menu to record a personalised medication reminder message, specifying the time of day when it should be played together with whether it should be played once only or repeated daily.
The medication reminder facility on Lifeline 4000+ will raise an audible and visual alert, at specified times, to notify the user that medication is due. The user must then press a flashing button on the Lifeline 4000+ to hear the appropriate reminder. However, as an additional safety measure, if the user fails to press the button after a specified period, a call will be raised to the response centre so that further action can be taken to ensure medication compliance.
The dispenser carousel has a user button, which when pressed shows the time for next dose or will give access to the medication. Only one dose can be released at any time, to ensure patient safety. If the dose is not taken, the unit will remind the user, and will generate an alert via its Class One radio receiver if there is no response to the reminder.
The 28-dose dispenser carousel can manage one to four daily doses, and is portable so that it can be taken out of the user's home, and will still give audible reminder alerts when medication needs to be taken.
The Lifeline 4000+ medication reminder solution is being used as part of a pioneering healthcare initiative in Staffordshire, which is enabling patients to remain in their own homes by helping them to manage their medicines effectively. The project - jointly run by health, social services and housing providers in the county - is using telecare to manage medical conditions and social services resources more effectively.
Steve Sadler, Technical Director at Tunstall, said: "Medication Compliance is a major issue, not just in terms of its economic impact but also in terms of patient well-being. It demands a great deal of resource in order to ensure that the correct medication is being taken at the appropriate times, often involving a nurse visiting a patient several times per day. Remembering to take the right medication at the right times of the day can often be challenging for many vulnerable people as well as being of real concern for their carers."