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In the first eight weeks since its launch, the mobile app MediSafe Project achieved a reported medication adherence rate of 81% among its users. That figure is 31% higher than the World Health Organization’s estimated average medication adherence rate of 50%, according to a press release from the company, MediSafe Project, based in Haifa, Israel. For MediSafe Project users who recorded their use of statins, the adherence rate was 84.25%, which is 34.25% higher than the general population.

“Medication adherence is a persistent and elusive problem, interrupting patients’ well-being, costing health providers and insurers billions annually, and causing preventable deaths,” MediSafe Project CEO Omri “Bob” Shor said in a statement. “MediSafe Project’s involvement of patients’ loved ones and caretakers is proving itself a breakthrough in reducing the harm that comes from medication nonadherence.”

Launched in November 2012 and available as a free download in both Android and iOS versions, the MediSafe Project is the first cloud-synced mobile app helping families prevent emergencies caused by over- or under-dosing medications, according to the press release. MediSafe Project reminds users when it is time to take a medication, and, when a user misses a dose, sends alerts to selected family members, friends and caregivers. Users have visited the app a total of 95,000 times per month and recorded taking more than 100,000 medication doses as directed.

According to the MediSafe Project website (www.medisafeproject.com), low-tech alternatives to the app will become available to people without smartphones in 2013, via an automated phone system. Patients will be able to use touchtone to record medication doses, and caregivers will be able to receive alerts about missed doses via automated calls.

The MediSafe Project was inspired by the accidental and potentially fatal insulin double-dose of the diabetic father of brothers and co-founders Omri and Rotem Shor. The co-founders, according to the press release, regard MediSafe Project as a way to lower hospitalization and mortality rates, promote sustainable behavior changes that prolong health, and reduce long-term health care costs.

The developers added that the MediSafe Project also provides aggregated patient behavior data, physician trends and other market aspects to help pharmaceutical companies better understand how their medications are used.

—George Ochoa