AMAC starts new year with MedSmart rollout

Company seeks resellers for medication management and dispensing system
Tuesday, January 5, 2010

OCEANSIDE, N.Y.--American Medical Alert Corp., a healthcare communications solutions provider based here, on Dec. 16 announced MedSmart, its newest in-home medication management and dispensing system. According to AMAC SVP marketing and program development Randi Baldwin, MedSmart would give VARs and dealers a valuable turnkey offering to help improve the quality of life for end users.

"One of the top 10 things healthcare can be doing now to cut costs is medication adherence," Baldwin said. "We really see MedSmart as a valuable solution to the industry." MedSmart is currently available by phone order, but will get a full commercial rollout starting Jan. 1.

AMAC will handle all monitoring of the MedSmart device. Resellers get a margin on the sale of the device itself.

MedSmart is an in-home medication management and dispensing system with advanced communication abilities to connect directly with family members, caregivers, and medical professionals such as pharmacists and physicians to monitor medication compliance. The system alerts patients when they need to take medication and alerts caregivers and/or pharmacists when the patient needs a refill. It can also be configured to send compliance alerts via text, voice and/or email to appropriate caregivers and/or medical professionals.

According to Baldwin, the goal is to allow care-giving staff to provide more proactive and responsive care. "It's a proactively monitored product ... Someone decides they're going to purchase this device either for themselves or for a loved one. They program the device using the MedSmart Connect Web service. The device, the dispenser, is now married to a station that has a modem in it, that now takes a dataset from the dispensing device and reports that to our repository which is available in an online tool," Baldwin said. "So there's two things happening in this monitoring protocol. One, there's a trigger so if there's an immediate event of non-compliance it will send a signal out which--based on the protocols set up by the care-giver or the family member--will alert users there's been a noncompliance event in the home. They can call and say, 'Mom, why haven't you taken your medication?' Also, from an oversight standpoint, and long-term monitoring, the website provides you with tools and statistical analysis of compliance events over time."

Baldwin said the long-term analytical functionality would provide valuable information on trends that could bear directly on the end user's quality of life. "The goal is to encourage the proper medication-taking behavior ... We believe that by having that ability to communicate the event has occurred, it opens up a dialog ... It can be an early warning signal. If mom isn't taking her meds, maybe there is an unknown condition in the home that needs to be addressed."