The Future of Medication Prescribing in Psychiatry? – Digital Medicine Systems & Smart Pills
Psychiatric patients with serious mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, have been shown to have poor medication adherence. For these patients, pharmacological therapy reduces the severity and improves rates of relapse. However, pharmacological approaches are only effective if a medication schedule is adhered to.
It is estimated that between 40-50% of patients with serious mental illness are non-compliant, which results in suboptimal treatment. There is also a greater risk of relapse as is suggested by psychiatric hospitalisation rates and the incidences of violence and suicide attempts. For example, mean rate of medication non-adherence in cases of schizophrenia have been recorded to be as low as 41.2%.
To improve adherence, long-acting injectable formulations are an effective component of many rehabilitation programs. However, they have historically not been broadly accepted by the medical profession due to fears associated with side effects and presumed lack of efficacy. Therefore, there is a need to improve assessment and adherence in patients with serious mental illnesses.
Rohatagi, et al., Optimization of a Digital Medicine System in Psychiatry. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 77:9, September 2016.
Profit, et al., Developing a Digital Medicine System in Psychiatry: Ingestion Detection Rate and Latency Period. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 77:9, Sept 2016.