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Patients explain how technology improves their prescription medication use

Posted Dec 07 2012 12:01am

ONC and Script Your Future announce video challenge winners

The winners of the Managing Meds Video Contest all have different ways of using health technology — like their mobile phones and the Internet — to help them remember to take their medications. The contest was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the National Consumers League-led Script Your Future campaign.

The first-place winner, “Remind Me Again,” highlights how a young man uses simple alarms, mobile phone apps and the Internet to remind him to take his medications.  The winning videos, available for viewing at , serve as a challenge for consumers to think about what technology can help them take their meds. The top four entries and the popular choice award all received cash prizes

“The winning contest entries revealed that there are many technologies, particularly mobile apps, which help remind people to take their medications. Our hope is that people will watch these videos and be inspired to use technology to take their medications as prescribed to achieve better health,” said Erin Poetter of ONC’s Office of Consumer eHealth.

Adherence in taking medicines is a growing public health issue, for individuals and for the nation’s health care system. Taking medications as directed — the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time — can improve health and quality of life, especially for people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Patients that do not take their medications are at a higher risk of being hospitalized and have a 50-85 percent higher mortality rate than people who follow their drug regimens.

Poor medication adherence costs Americans an estimated $290 billion per year. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office reported that a one percent increase in the number of prescriptions filled by Medicare beneficiaries will result in a roughly .2 percent decrease in Medicare spending

Other studies Exit disclaimer icon show that many people do not fill their prescriptions , stop taking their medications earlier than directed , or do not follow the instructions— taking less than directed, splitting pills, or skipping doses. Fortunately, technology can help people to manage their medications.

“Patients often have understandable reasons for not taking their medicine as directed, from complex instructions for multiple medications to simply forgetting in the midst of life’s many demands. Technology, like phone apps or text reminders, can help,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of National Consumers League.

For more information on the Managing Meds Video Contest and winning videos, please visit and follow @ONC_HealthIT on Twitter or use #ManageMeds to join the conversation.

To see what other ONC Health IT Video contests are live today, visit .

To learn more about health information technology (health IT) watch this video: .

To learn more about Script Your Future visit Exit disclaimer icon .

You can follow HHS on Twitter @HHSgov exit disclaimer icon and sign up for HHS Email Updates .

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