A personalised reminder service aimed at ensuring patients never miss their medicine is being developed by a team of students at United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).
Currently being incubated within the Al Ain university’s Science and Innovation Park (SIP), the Dwak innovation is a tailored medical assistant app that creates a link between hospitals and pharmacies and the patients they serve.
It is designed to send automatic reminders to users every time they need to take a tablet or a dose of medicine, keeping them in line with the prescribed medication regime and preventing the potential health consequences of incorrect use, a statement said.
According to management information systems student Yahya Iqelan, 21, who leads the team of three students, Dwak was devised after his sister and fellow team member Fatima – a 24-year-old UAEU pharmacy student – highlighted the problem of non-adherence to drug prescriptions.
“Quite simply, people can get sicker and even die because they do not take medicine correctly,” she said.
“We realised there should be a way for people to have automatic reminders to take their medicine, ask questions and even make sure their medication is refilled when needed. That led us to develop Dwak.”
The team, which also comprises nutrition student Shahd Abadlah, 22, and UAEU management instructor Steve Kranz, said they conducted research which identified incorrect use of prescription medication as a worldwide issue that, in the US alone, is estimated to lead to 125,000 premature deaths each year.
Having been incubated at SIP, the team has now formed a partnership with Al Ain Pharmacy to test Dwak in a pilot scheme. “Our aim is to expand and offer the service to all pharmacies in the UAE by 2018,” said Yahya.
“As we believe this is a vital service with potential worldwide application, we are also applying for a US patent and we plan to extend Dwak to other countries in the future.
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