When it comes to the health-care industry, especially with pharmaceuticals, many problems affect one another when undergoing clinical trials. For a trial to work, it relies on its subjects. But when the subjects are people, there's no guarantee they're going to do as told. So, Elucid Digital Health used technology to improve patient reliability in clinical trials and save lives in the future.
When it comes to medication, most people aren't taking them routinely, whether they're in a clinical trial or not. People have busy lives, and most of us forget to eat breakfast. So, remembering to take a tiny pill is a far stretch. If you're taking a supplement, this may not be such a big deal, but for many people taking medication, missing one dose can have drastic effects.
Elucid Health was inspired to create Pill Connect to help pharmaceutical companies get the best results from their clinical trials. With most trials, there are limitations because they rely on people as their subjects. Firstly, 30-50% of drugs are not taken as prescribed, which, if left unaccounted, can introduce variances into the data of said medication. In addition, the adherence levels in clinical trials decrease the longer the trial continues, and this lowers a study's influence and can delay approval on life-saving medication. These issues can delay the trials and manufacturing process of very important medication. So, finding a solution to improve clinical trial results is crucial for all parties involved, including future consumers.
So what does Pill Connect do? For clinical trials, the Pill Connect system informs individuals of when they need to take their medications and how much they need to take. It then prompts the person to send a report back to the doctor, which lets the doctor keep track of their adherence record. The notifications come from the app on their smartphone. Once the person acknowledges the notification, their pill bottle ejects a capsule through a dispensing cap for them to take. If the person doesn't want to take the pull, they can respond through the app. The dispenser is also a smart-lock which prevent double dosing. Though if the person's phone dies or left it at home, they're able to unscrew the cap off.
What's particularly unique about the Pill Connect system is that it gives a detailed adherence record. But aside from that, it also allows for intervention by either a text or phone call if the app isn't activated. This is powerful as many people may experience reactions or illnesses to clinical trial medication. Having that one-to-one contact prevents serious or life-threatening issues from occurring.
What many of us don't realize is that poor adherence is a large contributor to premature deaths. For example, in Europe alone, almost 200,000 people die every year, costing around EU $105 billion in avoidable ER care, outpatient visits, and hospitalizations.
Aside from saving thousands of people's lives, the bottle dispenser itself is unique. The dispensing mechanism can be adjusted to hold pills of different sizes. It can also be adjusted to fit any size bottle. This is extremely beneficial for clinical trials as they don't need to buy multiple bottles in varying sizes.