Service Apotheken (SA) has developed an app for mobile devices that helps patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes adhere to their prescribed medication regimens. COPD and diabetes both require very specific and complex pharmaceutical treatments, which need quite some time and skill to master. Assisting patients in the correct use of medication and thereby increasing medication adherence improves patient health and slows disease progression. The SA app helps patients with COPD and diabetes by demonstrating the correct use of medication, providing the patient with accurate and relevant information about their health, and connecting the patient with the local pharmacy, which allows the patient to improve their medication adherence and thus possibly lower the rate of exacerbations (COPD) and hypoglycemic attacks (diabetes).
The potential added value of the SA app was not visible, charted, and quantifiable, and these parameters are required for decision makers to make an informed decision about whether to implement and reimburse the SA app. Preventive measures and/or eHealth solutions are not currently a focus of the Dutch healthcare system, which presents an additional hurdle: It takes greater effort to help decision makers see the value of these innovative tools.