SMART PILL BOTTLE IMPROVES ADHERENCE
Improved medication adherence is the aim with Pill Connect, developed by Elucid Health, in Manchester, England. The phone app prompts patients to take their medications on time. The system allows physicians to effectively monitor medication and analyze patient usage. Clinicians can immediately respond to missed doses, improving treatment outcomes and possibly impacting healthcare spending. For research purposes and clinical trials, analytics of medication use is highly accurate.
Nonadherence to medication regimens for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension is estimated at 40% to 50%. Nonadherence is believed to result in 100,000 preventable deaths per year, and a cost of $100 billion in preventable healthcare costs annually (Kleinsinger, 2018).
The Pill Connect system requires that the patient load the app onto an Android or Apple phone. After patient training, the special container is loaded with the medication. The program prompts the patient to take a dose. When the patient responds to the prompt, a pill is dispensed, and the data are sent to a control center.
If the patient does not respond or cannot take the medication, a text or call is made to the patient to encourage adherence or discern the reason for refusal. For safety and correct dosing, the bottle is locked outside the prescribed times.
The Pill Connect dispenser mechanism and electronics are designed to fit onto a standard pill bottle, easily refillable by a pharmacist. Capacity depends upon the pill size; the device can hold a minimum of 30 pills.
Kleinsinger, F. (2018). The unmet challenge of medication nonadherence. The Permanente Journal, 22, 18-033. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-033
AIR AND HAIR CONNECTION
Research has recently proven that hair loss is one effect when humans are exposed to common air pollutants known as particulate matter. Lead researcher Hyuk Chul Kwon (2019) from the Future Science Research Centre in the Republic of Korea presented the findings at the 28th European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology Congress in Madrid in October 2019.
Particulate matter describes a mixture of solid particles and droplets in the air. Sources of particulate matter air pollution include burned fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel and other solid fuels: coal, oil, and biomass. Industrial activities such as building, mining, and the manufacturing of building materials like cement, ceramics, and bricks also produce particulate matter air pollution.
The research was conducted by exposing cells from the human scalp at the base of hair follicles, known as human follicle dermal papilla cells, to various concentrations of particulate matter such as dust and diesel.
Although air pollutants previously have been linked to serious health conditions such as heart and lung disease, cancer, and respiratory problems, this is the first time scientific evidence has proved that air pollution affects the skin and hair. Ambient air pollution is estimated to kill 4.2 million people every year (World Health Organization, 2020).
Kwon, H. C. (2019, October). Effects of particular matter on human dermal papilla. Paper presented at the 28th European Dermato-Venereology Congress, Madrid. Abstract retrieved from https://eadvmadrid2019.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/PR4-Pollution-Baldness.pdf
World Health Organization. (2020). Ambient outdoor air pollution. WHO Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ambient-(outdoor)-air-quality-and-health
WE MATTER TO GOD
Writer Patty Kirk (2012) reminds us that God is on our side:
We matter to God. Inexplicably. Undeservedly. Even we dedicated Christians tend to forget this truth—or doubt it or reject it altogether—when we encounter trouble. It is difficult to understand why we matter, but we do. God is watching. Listening to us, speaking promises into the cacophony of our worries and the certainly of their fulfillment into our most deeply buried hopes. To have faith, as Joseph did, all we have to do is pay attention as hope refracts what we see to reveal the future God has planned for his children. Faith means literally believing that in all things, even the [worst] ones, God works for the good of those who love him. (p. 68)
—Kirk, P. (2012). The gospel of Christmas: Reflections for advent. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.
PulseBeats compiled by Cathy Walker