Glaucoma is one of the most commonly encountered age-related eye diseases that affects ~64.3 million individuals, and this is expected to 111.8 million in 2040. A potentially blinding condition, lifelong eye drops are necessary in order to keep the disease under control. Unfortunately, 80% of patients with glaucoma are non-adherent to their medication regimens. EyeDEA changes this by improving patients’ understanding of their regimens and providing patients with a simple, portable storage device for their drops. This will translate into better visual outcomes, real-time quality data collection for clinical trials. EyeDEA reminds patients when it is time to use their drops, and most significantly, is able to track the actual medication compliance rates among patients - such data can help us deliver even smarter solutions to improve the lives of our patients.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
Comprising of an App, Box and Card, EyeDEA is a practical solution that improves patients’ adherence to their eye drops regimes by:
1. Improving patients’ understanding of their medication regimens
2. Bridging doctor-patient-caregiver communication gaps,
3. Making the storage and use of eye drops an ease using a box with a built-in reminder system,
4. Identifying and analysing data regarding gaps in patient compliance to eye drops use,
5. Rewarding patients for being compliant to their eye drops through incentives, and
6. Simplifying the process of replenishing eye drops when they run low.
The EyeDEA Web App serves three key functions:
- For physicians to personalise the settings of a patient’s EyeDEA card and box
- For physicians, patients, and caregivers to access data and analytics on medication compliance
- For patients and caregivers to request for automated refills of their eye drops
The key next steps for EyeDEA to make an impact with our innovation include:
· Further improving the design of our product to eventually develop a simple, easy-to-use, light-weight, and intuitive product that our elderly patients will be comfortable using
· Improving the technology behind the monitoring and tracking the volume of eye drops left in our bottles
· Lowering the costs of product development
Glaucoma is an age-related chronic eye disease associated with a loss of visual fields and that may lead to blindness. Presently, glaucoma affects approximately 64.3 million individuals, and this is expected to increase to 76.0 million in 2020 and 111.8 million in 2040. Glaucoma is managed via the consistent use of long-term eye drops. Ensuring medication adherence is a major challenge in the effective management of glaucoma in these patients. A local study has found that up to 80% of glaucoma patients are non-adherent to their eye drops regimes.
Glaucoma patients in the local context in Singapore are usually elderly and face difficulties understanding, remembering, recalling, reading or recognizing medications.
Patients are also often on complex dosing regimes (e.g. 3 different eye drops, each taken at various different times a day). There are also numerous barriers in communication owing to language barriers, and this is made worse by the time constraints of a short clinic consultation. Ineffective physician-patient-caregiver communication further compounds the issue of medication non-adherence. These various factors all result in medication non-adherence, and poor clinical outcomes and disease management among our glaucoma patients.
There are currently no solutions on the market that addresses these problems effectively. Current solutions focus on improving the aim and/or ease of eye drops administration without addressing the communication issues encountered by doctors and patients or on enabling and incentivising patients to utilise their eye drops more consistently.
1. We address the key communication challenges encountered by physicians, our elderly patients, and their caregivers through a simple card that translates often esoteric medical terms into a simple-to-understand format.
2. We are not only able to provide patients with a simple storage device for their eye drops, but to also remind patients when it is time for them to use their drops. Even more compellingly, we are able to monitor our patients’ medication adherence to their eye drops regimes by tracking the volume of eye drops left in the bottles with our proprietary technology.
3. Our ability to track medication compliance among our patients allows us to develop a novel gamification strategy that will allow us reward patients for consistent eye drops use and to further incentivise them to remain compliant to their medication regimens. This ability to track medication compliance also allows us to develop unique pathways to commercial viability and to derive smarter insights into medication compliance among our patients.
Our solution complements existing strategies to improve medication adherence available in the market and addresses existing gaps. Current strategies rely on improving the administration of eye drops through the use of “applicator strips”, but do not adequately look into improving challenges in patient-doctor communication or challenges encountered by our patients in terms of remembering to use the eye drops.