Its happened to all of us at one time or another. We simply forget to take our medicine. We might be too busy or we just dont think its important enough. But for patients with serious medical conditions, like heart disease, diabetes and asthma, forgetting even a single dose of medicine can land them in the hospital.
News 2s Paul Moniz reports that now theres a unique way to stay on track.
Take Bruce Krawitz. The 50 year old light shop owner is so busy he often loses track of time, a potentially life threatening habit considering he's already had 3 heart attacks and must take a variety of medicines three times a day at regular intervals.
But Bruce's wife signed him up with Pan-Health.com. Three times a day the company calls Bruce on the telephone to remind him to take his medicine. Bruce downs his pills without water even before the recorded message ends. "I just hear the horrible voice, press one and go into my pocket and take the medicine," says Bruce. He admits he was resistant at first -- until he suffered the consequences of not taking his pills - bad chest pains.
Studies show nearly half of all patients dont follow prescription drug instructions as indicated and as many as one in five prescriptions are never filled. The result - some patients never get better or suffer relapses.
Its estimated that non-compliance costs the health care system 100 billion dollars a year.
Pan Healths computer system allows patients to customize when and where they are called. Choices range from home and business phone, beeper, fax, e-mail or any combination. You can basically be hunted down. "We are not a "dot com" company, we are a "dot mom" company." says Avi Kulkarni, Ceo of PanHealth.com "The whole focus is giving motherly advice on compliance."
The system allows patients to create a medical profile keeping track of test results. Some patients can even make doctors appointments online or by touch tone phone if their doctor participates. But the reminders dont come cheap - up to 35 cents a call. As part of a trial offer Bruce is getting the service free, but could end up paying as much as 30 dollars a month. Panhealth recognizes the cost of its service may be out of reach, especially for those on fixed incomes.
The company can be reached at panhealth.com. They have offices in Livingston, New Jersey, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Indiana and abroad in London and India.
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