Complying with medical prescriptions

Patients are not very good at adhering to their medical prescriptions. Here’s how a little cloud computing and mobile technology can help.

The medical community refers to Adherence as the degree to which a patient correctly follows medical advice, for example completing a prescription to treat an acute cough.   Not surprisingly, patients are not very good at adhering to their  prescriptions, there are many reasons why.

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Figure 1: Medical prescription calendar entry

In some cases, information technologies can help improve adherence.  In this post, I use Microsoft Azure’s Logic Apps service   to automatically convert my family’s medical prescriptions into timely calendar  entries that popup as reminders on my iPhone. 

First, a brief summary for new visitors. A few years ago I started tracking key aspects of my family’s day-to-day well-being.  You can browse the full list of variables I am tracking here.  I use this data to conduct casual exploration and N-of-1 experimentation to address issues and opportunities affecting my family’s growth, health and happiness.

How did I do it? 

Self-tracking allows me to digitally record all medications prescribed to my family.  This information includes the medication’s name, its ATC code, administration route (e.g. transdermal),  as well as the dosage duration, interval and frequency (e.g. every 8 hours for three days.)   My goal was to turn a prescription’s dosage schedule into one or more calendar events – automatically.   This would provide timely notifications throughout the prescription period.

Microsoft’s Logic Apps Service, promises to automate workflows without requiring a single line of code.  I was also looking for a solution that was quick and easy to maintain and Logic Apps was pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

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Figure 2: Microsoft Azure Logic App to convert medical prescriptions into mobile phone reminders

Logic App includes connectors for the underlying database where my self-tracking data is hosted, as well as the Google Calendar I use to manage daily events.   Logic Apps made it very easy to express the workflow required to turn a prescription’s dosage schedule into events in my Google Calendar.

 

Sharing account passwords with the rest of the family

Consider the unfortunate event where I am hit by a bus, or a more common one where I am on a business trip without internet access to complete an urgent bank transaction.   How could I ensure that my wife or daughters (when they are older) can easily access and administer the accounts I depend on?

I have 47 of these accounts covering personal email accounts, bank accounts, student loan accounts, Dropbox, social media accounts and a host of other websites.  They also include accounts to manage my family’s digital records including marriage certificates, birth certificates, passport, national identity cards and much more.

I want to ensure that my family has instant access to these accounts without needing me to provide the login credentials.   I also want to enable my wife and daughters to share their account information with rest of the family if they choose to do so.

If you are also facing this problem then take a look at the recently announced 1Password family edition.

1Password