Wisepill Technologies was founded in 2007 by Lloyd and Ricci Marshall, a husband and wife team, to tackle the challenging problem of medication non-adherence, in both developed and developing countries.
Research has shown that between 43% and 78% of patients are non-adherent (New England Journal of Medicine 2005). Furthermore, of all medication-related hospital admissions in the USA, 33 to 69 percent were due to poor medication adherence, with a resultant cost of approximately $100 billion a year (Osterberg and Blaschke 2005).
The Wisepill electronic pillbox was designed to monitor patient adherence and to provide instant feedback via cellphone and internet technologies. Unlike the many reminder systems on the market that nag users to remember to take their medicine, a system was created to remind users only when they forget. By applying this innovative methodology, Wisepill was able to demonstrate a significant improvement in adherence.
In 2010 Family Health International chose to use Wisepill for their Truvada Clinical Trials. This was the first time that anti-retro viral drugs were used as a pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment for high risk HIV patients. Wisepill later went on to win the South African Department of Trade and Industries Technology Award for small businesses in 2011.
To date, Wisepill has been used in by patients with Tuberculosis, HIV, Epilepsy, Osteoporosis, Chronic Heart conditions, Diabetes, Leukemia, Asthma, ADHD and Hepatitis C in many countries worldwide.
The system has also been used by research organisations and universities to simply monitor adherence for research purposes. Wisepill has partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Initiative for Global Health to adapt the technology to work well in a rural environment where cell phone networks are not always reliable.
The dispenser was designed so that it would be compelling and easy to use. A number of independent user surveys have shown that people enjoy using the dispenser and appreciate the support that they receive via the services and reminders.
The Wisepill device and services are available to pharmaceutical businesses and health care organisations, providing an effective tool for patients to improve their adherence and consequently their health.