POOR HEALTH INFLUENCED BY POOR MEDICATION ADHERENCE

It is important to take our medication on time, every time. The failure to take our prescribed medications to the right dosage amount can result in poor outcomes in our health.

The New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI), a prominent national health policy institute, conducted an in-depth study on medication adherence and the effects on our country. The Institute found that hospitalization rates were “significantly higher for patients with low medication adherence” especially those with high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and diabetes.

NEHI concluded that medication nonadherence is a $290 billion problem annually in the United States. The Institute found that “among diabetes patients, the one-year risk of hospitalization was 13 percent for patients with high adherence and 30 percent with low adherence.” This was similar to numerous other disease states in patients that have low adherence. In many cases, hospitalization rates are doubled for those who do not take their medication as prescribed.

To avoid serious illness and poor outcomes to your health from forgetting medication, we invented Hourbands. 

Reference:

New England Healthcare Institute. Thinking outside the pillbox: a system-wide approach to improving patient medication adherence for chronic disease. New England Health Care Institute, 2009.

FORGETTING MEDICATION, A CAUSE OF DEATH?

In the United States, approximately 2.5 million people die annually. Of those 2.5 million, 125,000 people die from something called medication nonadherence. Medication nonadherence is not taking medication as directed. If you divide those numbers, we found that 5% of our population dies from not taking their medication. This astounding revelation is eye-opening because people are dying simply from not taking their medication properly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the leading causes of death in the United States ranking the top 10.  Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, influenza and pneumonia, and nephritis are in the top 10 list for the number of deaths. The problem with their list is that they neglected to mention that medication nonadherence is a shocking killer in the United States because it has estimated to have killed 125,000 people annually.

The New England Healthcare Institue found that poor medication adherence and chronic disease are linked. The results they found was the increase of inconsistency on a monthly period of taking their prescribed medication when being diagnosed with a chronic disease. The leading causes of death overwhelm the top 10 list of chronic diseases. Nevertheless, the chronic conditions can be treated with taking their medication properly. 

Therefore, Hourbands was founded with the intention to help show people when to take their medication properly. This simple medication reminder can be the solution to improve medication adherence and to decrease the number of deaths by chronic diseases.

HAVE YOU MISSED A PILL LATELY?

The United States population according to the U.S. Census Bureau is 325 million in counting. The total number of prescriptions filled annually in the United States is projected to be 4.6 billion in the year 2017. If you were to divide the prescriptions by our population we find that on average, every American will get 14 prescriptions a year. (Obviously, some people take more medication than others.) Regardless, this average is staggering! 

It tells us that as a country we take a significant amount of medication. The United States has one of the most advanced and robust healthcare industries in the world. As Americans, we are privileged with the opportunity to be insured by this health care industry which provides the necessary care.

Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. Countless studies have been performed documenting that over 7 million people are hospitalized annually by not taking their medication properly. In many cases, medication is effective but only when taken as directed. When people skip or forget their medicine it negatively affects the outcome of their treatment.

Hourbands is in a unique position to help with this problem. This simple medication reminder is designed to be inexpensive and reusable, regardless of income level to improve the quality of life for those who need to take their medication.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOURBANDS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

PRODUCT RELEASE:

Q: When do you plan to launch / release the product?

A: We are in the final phases of product manufacturing and the first batch will be available in late 2016. 

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SIZE:

Q: What medicine bottles do HourBands fit onto?

A: HourBands fit onto standard amber-colored prescription bottles. THERE ARE ONLY THREE BOTTLE SIZES. HourBands come in all three sizes.

Prescription drugs are the most important to take on time—it has been estimated that 7 million people are hospitalized each year and over 125,000 people die each year from medication non-adherence. So right now that’s our focus. In the future we’re looking at adding sizes for vitamins and supplements and other over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

Q: What are the sizes?

A: Standard amber-colored prescription bottles come in three sizes:

  • Small – 1.25″ diameter
  • Medium – 1.5″ diameter
  • Large – 1.875″ diameter 

Q: How do I know which one to use?

A: The majority of prescriptions come in small amber bottles so that is a good place to start. One hint, the small is the same diameter as a D-sized battery. If you are in doubt, you can always purchase the variety pack containing all three sizes so you can see for yourself.

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TYPE:​

Q: How many types of HourBands are there?

A: Currently HourBands cater to two different time increments:

  • Hour of Day (HOD) – If you take your medication multiple times a day.
  • Day of Week (DOW) – If you take your medication just once a day.

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USE:

Q: How do I use it?

A: This is where the simplicity kicks in, simply slide the HourBand onto your prescription bottle and when you take your pill, look at the bottle to see when you should take the next pill, and slide the “Next” buckle to the time or day when you should take it next.

Q: When do I move the buckle?

A: The easiest time to figure out when the next dose should be taken is when you just took the last dose. So just go ahead and look at the clock, see how long you are supposed to wait between doses and slide the “Next” buckle to that time.

For example, if your doctor has indicated to take this medication every 6 hours and you take the first pill at 6 AM, simply move the buckle to 12 PM.

You will see the Hour of Day (HOD) HourBands show the AM hours against a white background, and the PM hours against a black background.

THE QUIET EPIDEMIC OF MEDICATION NON-ADHERENCE

The United States has an epidemic that affects more Americans than any disease. According to a New York Times article, “it’s called non-adherence to prescribed medications, and it is – potentially, at least – 100 percent preventable by the very individual it afflicts.” This information is staggering because taking pill should be automatic but with our busy lives, we forget to take our prescribed medications or feel it is not necessary anymore. (This is the core problem in not adhering to our medications.)

The article states that “studies have consistently shown that 20 percent to 30 percent of medication prescriptions are never filled and that approximately 50 percent of medications for chronic disease are not taken as prescribed.” The prevalence of not taking medication properly, especially for those with a chronic disease can cause them to be admitted to a hospital and some instances, medication nonadherence is fatal. By not taking their prescribed medication, it “…is estimated to cause approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations…” per year.

This is a tough pill to swallow but as the article states, this issue can be prevented if people take their medication properly.  

Hourbands, the simple medication reminder will help show people when they took their pill and when they need to take it next. It is simple as it slides on to your pill bottle with the indication from the “next” buckle to show when to take your medication, intuitive as taking a pill, and inexpensive enough for those who need to take their medication properly.