Up to 50% of prescribed medicines are not used as the prescriber intended. Non-adherence and underuse represent a loss to patients, the healthcare system and society at large - it is a missed opportunity for health improvement and a waste of valuable resources. To address this problem a Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) competition was launched by NHS England in partnership with the Academic Health Science Networks to find innovative products and services.
Folium Optics’ solution builds on the Internet of Things - we have developed a smart electronic tag attached to medicine packaging, and a separate lightweight portable reminder unit. The tag has an 'always-on' vivid display that shows clearly which medicine should be taken and when. The reusable tags are lightweight and robust, will still work if the medication is taken outside the home and can be simply configured by the pharmacist, carer or user. We have initially targeted those entering old age (65-75) and we are developing the system to work for other groups.
The tags are made possible by our plastic display technology - because our displays are very thin, robust and can be any shape. We have built a fully functioning system solution, consisting of tags, reminder unit and the cloud service and apps to connect them together.
Steve Kitson, CEO of Folium Optics, says “we are delighted to win the funding. It will allow us to take the next step in developing our technology and ultimately to help patients. It’s a really tough technical challenge - exactly the sort of project we thrive on at Folium Optics.”
We have brought together a strong team to deliver this project - Pumpco and Designability will help us deliver the technology and the Bristol Heart Institute will lead the clinical evaluation. We’re looking forward to working together to develop a solution to help patients.
This work was commissioned and funded by NHS England. The views expressed in the publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily that of the funding partners.