Home » Medication Adherence Technologies in Sweden

Medication Adherence Technologies in Sweden

Marie Ekenberg, PhD student in Pharmacoepidemiology, Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala University, Sweden; February 2024

Finding digital technologies used to support medication adherence (MATech) could be done in many different ways. Our approach in Sweden was that we wanted to identify as many technologies as possible available in Swedish. We therefore developed a survey for potential technology developers/ providers, and by which we could identify if their technologies were what we were looking for.

Step one included finding potential companies or developers to contact to ask to fill in the survey. We identified companies to contact in three different ways:

  1. Identifying and contacting through umbrella organizations:
    1. The research-based pharmaceutical industry (LIF)
    2. Swedish MedTech
    3. The association for generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars in Sweden (FGL)
    4. Pharmacies part of the Swedish pharmacy association
  2. Developers of apps found in app search in Apple App store and Google Play Store
  3. Snowball sampling: asking everyone participating in the survey if they knew of some company or technology which should be included

By creating a survey, we could start with some questions to identify if the technologies met the inclusion criteria to be included in the ENABLE repository, and continue with more detailed questions about the technology describing which features and services it provided. Based on these answers, the researchers decided if the technology was suitable to be included in the ENABLE repository. After contacting 379 companies, we found 26 technologies, out of which 12 technologies were identified as possibly meeting the inclusion criteria for the ENABLE repository. Finally, five technologies were identified as the main target technologies for the repository:

  • Dosell and MedimiSmart are both medication robots helping the patients to take the medication at the right time by alerting when it is time to take the medication, and activating an alarm if the medication is not taken.
  • HIPR and SENO are apps for optimizing the titration of ADHD medication or antidepressants by patient-reported medication intake and symptoms, which is shared with the healthcare professionals.
  • Pilloxa is a platform where companies or healthcare providers can build their own medication adherence application according to their preferences, and it could also be connected to a smart pill box.

Our experience of identifying these technologies is that there are so many interesting developers and technologies available which we were not aware of. We are therefore very satisfied with the approach of trying to find many new technologies by contacting many different developers and stakeholders. Without our extensive search, we probably would not have found as many technologies in the end.

The technology attributes to be included in the repository are comprehensive, including a lot of information about each technology. For this to be accurate, it requires collaboration between the ENABLE team who is familiar with the terminology and behavior change interventions to improve medication adherence, and a representative from the developer with knowledge of the technology. By connecting the knowledge of the ENABLE team and harmonising the information about technologies according to this repository, it will be a great way for patients and healthcare professionals to get an overview of MATech. This will hopefully increase the use of these technologies, and in the end the medication adherence and health outcomes.