Kingston University Partners with Health Tech Company to Develop Medication Tool to Help Type 2 Diabetes Patients | Local News | New

Kingston University has teamed up with partners including health technology company, Observia, to develop a diagnostic tool aimed at improving the number of people with type 2 diabetes taking their medications.

The World Health Organization estimates that only half of people with chronic conditions take their medications correctly and reports suggest it could cost the global economy up to $290 billion.

With approximately 8.5% of the global adult population affected by diabetes and previous studies suggesting poor medication adherence in type 2 diabetes patients leading to higher hospitalization rates and increased lengths of stay, the Kingston University and Observia decided to focus their study on this group. .

The SPUR tool was developed by Observia to better understand the reasons for medical non-adherence, defined as the extent to which patients do not take their medications as prescribed.

Tests by Kingston University’s Department of Pharmacy found that the tool can reliably identify patients struggling with their medications and the reasons why.

The peer-reviewed studywhich compared SPUR to other patient-reported outcome measures that examine adherence, found in addition to measuring the extent to which patients did not take their medications as prescribed, it also identified the reason for this – something the tools have not been able to do previously.

Work on what became known as the SPUR model began in 2017 as part of the technology company’s efforts to shed light on the complexity of patient health behaviors, decipher the reasons for non-adherence, and support the design and delivery of personalized health interventions to meet individual needs. patient needs.

The study’s principal investigator and Kingston University doctoral candidate, Joshua Wells, who worked with the head of Kingston’s pharmacy department and chief research professor Reem Kayyali on the project, said understanding the reasons why the patient may find it difficult to take their medication as prescribed will allow for tailored interventions. for individual patients to develop.

He said: “Developing a holistic tool that can measure the degree to which a patient stops taking their medication, and why, is an important next step in our journey as we seek to provide personalized care to patients with chronic diseases that can fight with SPUR has helped us understand the specific behavioral, environmental and social factors that contribute to non-adherence.”

The study to test the model was divided into three phases. The first laid the groundwork for SPUR and the second looked at more than 100 health questionnaires to help inform the 45 questions that would test the model in the final phase of the project – which was led by Kingston University.

This final phase used the questions to assess the effectiveness of the SPUR tool in measuring medication adherence in 378 patients with type 2 diabetes, recruited from Kingston Hospital and South West Community Pharmacies. London with the support of the National Pharmacy Association and Health Education. Foundation.

As people around the world face new challenges amid the cost of living crisis, it was more important than ever to have access to tools like SPUR to support patients.

Mr Wells added: “Patients with specific vulnerabilities, particularly those who suffer from social deprivation, are at higher risk and exposure for chronic disease and this only gets worse with age.

“We are seeing an aging population that requires a greater range and complexity of medicines to manage multiple chronic conditions and the rising costs to healthcare systems will only exacerbate health inequalities in the UK and the challenge for these patients. manage their growing list of medications.”

Kingston University and Observia are working closely together to develop new relationships within the NHS to support the integration of the SPUR model more broadly, with the aim of improving day-to-day care for patients taking medication for chronic diseases, and is also continuing to validate the model in other languages, patient populations, and conditions other than type 2 diabetes.

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