Interview

“People just forget to take their medicine”

Edwin Hermkens is cofounder of MedApp, a Dutch start-up created in 2015 to help patients remember to take their medication. He explains how they do it.
1 January 2018

Author

Julie Zaugg

What is MedApp?

It’s an app that encourages patients to stick to their treatment. They download it, scan the bar codes on their boxes of medicine and set how much they should take, how many times a day and at what time. Users then get a notification before every time they are supposed to take their medicine. The average MedApp user is between 50 and 70, and takes three to seven different medications.

Why would patients not follow their treatment?

Seventy per cent of the time, patients don’t do it on purpose. They just forget to take their medicine or have trouble keeping track of all the pills they have to take every day. Other patients avoid it intentionally. They think their treatment doesn’t work or that the side effects are so unpleasant that they stop taking it.

What can you do to solve that problem?

For patients who do it intentionally, most of the time they just need to be better informed about the benefits of their treatment. When it’s not intentional, the patient’s behavior needs to change, and that’s much more of a challenge. MedApp plays an important role in doing that. On top of reminding patients to take their pills, the app provides a dashboard of their medication intake that can be sent to the doctor and deliver a score. It also has an automated order system that notifies the chemist when they’re about to run out of their medication.

portrait edwin hermkens - “People just forget to take their medicine”

NAME
Edwin Hermkens

POSITION
Cofounder and COO of MedApp

WEBSITE
www.medapp.nu