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Ensuring patient adherence to medication is a crucial factor in delivering better health outcomes for patients – but adherence for chronic disease is just 50 per cent globally, leading to significant human and economic hardship.

In a bid to tackle this longstanding challenge, a new programme has been launched, using behavioural science to understand why patients fail to follow their medicine regimes. Once these behavioural barriers are identified, digital interventions will be used to address them to deliver better health outcomes for patients.

The initiative, a partnership between Sciensus and Observia, addresses the urgent issue of medicine adherence, which has significant health and economic impacts. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that enhancing adherence interventions could have a more profound impact on public health system than advancements in medical treatments alone.

Recognising this, Sciensus has launched a programme, leveraging Observia’s SPUR™ (Social, Psychological, Usage, and Rational) behavioural diagnostic tool to understand the drivers of patient behaviour. This will improve Sciensus’ products and services overall, to better help patients adhere to their medication as prescribed.

The programme will focus on four therapeutic areas: Crohn’s Disease, Psoriasis, Multiple sclerosis, and HIV. Through personalised and digital feedback mechanisms, 5,000 participants will contribute vital data and give insights into their medication-taking behaviours.

The diagnostic tool, scientifically validated as a predictor of patient behaviour, categorises thirteen established behavioural drivers into four main groups: Social, Psychological, Usage, and Rational. By analysing the anonymised patient data, Sciensus aims to mitigate medication non-adherence risk for individuals and identify key factors contributing to this behaviour.

The project will also explore adherence risk patterns across different patient populations, including those currently adherent but also possibly at risk of future non-adherence. By examining socio-demographic factors and their association with behavioural drivers, the project aims to tailor intervention strategies to diverse patient groups, effectively addressing their barriers to medicine adherence.

The findings will be linked to a medication possession ratio (MPR) to continue to refine the predictive power of future assessments to a wider patient population.

The partnership with Observia adds to Sciensus’s extensive work on adherence and persistence and using behavioural science, digital and patient insights to transform the future of effective treatment.

Richard Blyth, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Sciensus, said: “We are incredibly excited about the partnership with Observia and using behavioural science to gain insights into the drivers that impact medication adherence. The programme is another step we are taking to continuously improve our understanding of our patients. Patient insights will be used to help them make the most of their medicines and keep them well for longer.”

Kevin Dolgin, Co-Founder of Observia, said: “We are proud to be part of this exciting project and the use of Observia’s SPUR™ tool to help understand the drivers of patient behaviour. It will be one of the most comprehensive adherence studies yet conducted in the UK, leading to increased support and better health outcomes for patients.”