Now that pretty much everyone, with the exception of my mom, has a cell-phone, and the majority of cell-phones are smartphones, it is rare to see someone without one in the hand or in their pocket. People take their phones everywhere, including some places that they are incredibly annoying.
On the other hand, many people have a difficult time remembering to take pills that will help them get better, or even prevent them from dying in some cases. So why not combine this rapidly spreading technology with the ability to help us remember the really important things in life.
That is exactly what John Moore MD and Frank Moss of the MIT Media Lab are working towards. Their new application, ForgetAboutIT?, is currently in development but here is the lowdown on what they are trying to accomplish:
Currently only 50% of patients with chronic diseases take their medications. The problem is not simple forgetfulness; it is a complex combination of lack of understanding, poor self-reflection, limited social support, and almost non-existent communication between provider and patient. ForgetAboutIT? is a system to support medication adherence which presupposes that patients engaged in tight, collaborative communication with their providers through interactive interfaces would think it preposterous not to take their medications. Technically, it is an awareness system that employs ubiquitous connectivity on the patient side through cell phones, televisions, and other interactive devices and a multi-modal collaborative workstation on the provider side. For this sponsor event, we are demonstrating a new application for hypertension management that we have piloted with the Mayo Clinic.
I think just about everyone has forgotten to take their medication at some point. For people who require this medication to simply get through daily life it is essential that they not forget. Apps like ForgetAboutIt? take advantage of something we will never leave home without, our cell-phone, to ensure that we never forget the medication that keeps us healthy.