“Data for Good” is a relatively new term coined by a company called Data Kind. Their aim is to demonstrate how how data science could be used to help address a range of humanitarian issues. These can span from mental health problems to homelessness and far more.
Here at Talking Medicines we want to use data to help patients get the most out of their medicines. This is important as “between 30% and 50% of medicines prescribed for long-term conditions are not taken as intended” (WHO).
So how do we do it? What data do we collect? And what makes it “good”?
Well, we collect data through our app, MedsmartⓇ which helps patients keep control of their medicines in a number of ways:
- We send patients reminders of when to take their medicines
- Tell patients what’s in their medicines incase they have allergies
- Allow users to create a virtual medicine cabinet to share with others I.e doctor
- Let users create multiple profiles so they can keep track of their whole family’s medicines
From the information users give to us, we can see in an aggregated group; which medicines are taken, what time reminders are set up for, how old users are and their genders. This unidentifiable information is then curated with others that take the same medicines to start to build a picture of the needs of different patient groups.
This real world insight can then be delivered back to the pharmaceutical manufacturers to help them better understand how medicines are taken in real life and the personas behind each condition. This helps them ensure patients are getting the most out of their treatment programme and also helps in the development of new medicines. Simply put, the data we collect does good!