January 4, 2011
As AT&T advances its healthcare strategy by providing technology that supports wireless, networked, and cloud-based solutions specifically for the healthcare industry, the company announced Tuesday that it will be partnering with Vitality to sell Vitality GlowCaps on Amazon.com.
The AT&T wirelessly connected Vitality GlowCaps are smart pill caps designed to alert patients to take medications on time. They fit on standard prescription bottles and use light and sound reminders, which can be followed by a phone call or text message so people don't miss a dose. Each time the pill bottle is opened, adherence data is recorded and securely relayed to Vitality over the AT&T wireless network. This daily adherence information is used to compile periodic progress reports that are sent to patients, caregivers, doctors, and family members. AT&T also supports the Vitality system by providing cloud-based services. "We look forward to delivering to consumers a reliable means to establish and maintain a prescription routine," Glenn Lurie, AT&T's president of emerging devices, said in a statement. "This solution is simple, easy to use, and long overdue." The Vitality GlowCaps will be available for $10 per cap and $15 per month for AT&T service. Consumers can also sign up to receive a free GlowCap once they are available at local and/or national pharmacies. "GlowCaps use real-time feedback loops to act on a number of behavioral motivators: reminders, doctor accountability, social support, and help with refills," said David Rose, Vitality's CEO. "These are instructive findings for pharmaceutical manufacturers and payers who have a vested interest in improving patient outcomes with their products and services." According to Vitality executives, the technology used in the GlowCaps system uncovers key motivational patterns for each individual, and this information can be used to tailor programs to help patients with medication adherence. Additionally, data generated by GlowCaps can be used to automatically refill prescriptions. The news is another indication that AT&T is looking at innovative ways to boost its revenue in the healthcare business. The company generated approximately $4 billion in revenue from healthcare industry businesses such as hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, suppliers, and physicians in 2009. In November 2010, the company launched AT&T ForHealth, a new practice area and portfolio of specialized services that will support technology to help improve patient care and reduce medical costs nationwide.
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