A Glasgow based tech start-up is aiming to tackle prescription medication wastage with the launch of a new app as research reveals 62% of Scots are currently taking at least one type of prescription medicine.  Talking Medicines has developed the healthcare app, Medsmart, which transforms complex medical information into video content for the user by asking them to scan the barcode on their medication.

It’s hoped that by condensing lengthy patient information leaflets into quick and simple video guides, people will be able to follow the instructions on their medicines more accurately and ultimately reduce the wastage caused by unfinished courses of medication.

Research commissioned by Talking Medicines* revealed that 10% of Scots are currently taking six or more types of prescription medication, with this figure increasing to 17% in those over 55.

The findings also show that 48% of Scots don’t consistently read the patient information leaflet in its entirety when taking a new medication for the first time (22% answered only sometimes, 18% answered rarely and 8% answered never), with men being more likely than women to ignore the guidelines completely (9% of males said never, compared to only 6% of females).

The free app collects user data to compile patterns on how medicines are used and the company’s commercial model is underpinned by partnerships with pharmaceutical companies who will make sense of the medication usage patterns through the Medsmart insight portal.

Jo Halliday, CEO of Talking Medicines, said:

“We’re really pleased to launch Medsmart to the public. People are using apps for everything nowadays, and as so many are on some kind of prescription medication it makes sense to use technology to help manage this.

“The app will help people manage medicines for themselves or for those they look after, making it easy to stay on track and ensure the full course of medication has been taken and in the correct way.

“Patient information leaflets can often be lengthy and written in hard to understand language. Medsmart makes this information more accessible and explains everything clearly and quickly.”

Medsmart is available to download from Apple iOS and Android stores.

*All research was conducted by YouGov PLC on behalf of Talking Medicines. Total sample size was 2083 adults, of which 184 were surveyed in Scotland. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th – 12th October 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).