Philips to bring Spencer Health's digital pill hub to Europe

Philips is expanding its partnership with medication adherence and telehealth provider Spencer Health Solutions with plans to bring its services to a selection of countries in Europe.

The two companies previously had an agreement covering the U.S. and Canada for Spencer Health’s Smart Hub. Designed for chronically ill or elderly patients, the countertop device can dispense multiple pill prescriptions and is equipped with a large touchscreen that provides alerts and reminders.

The hub also can present health status questions and gather responses as it dispenses medications, while connecting with clinicians and pharmacists. In addition, the system includes an app designed for family members and caregivers to help maintain progress.

Philips and Spencer Health plan to launch the hub in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands, starting first in the Netherlands before the end of this year.

“As health systems work to better manage high risk and high-cost patient populations, medication adherence solutions can help to improve medication management and increase patient engagement,” Derek Ross, Philips’ business leader for population health management, said in a statement.

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“Technological solutions can help our customers to improve medication adherence of their patients and to deliver better value-based care,” Ross said.

The two companies estimate non-adherence contributes to nearly 200,000 premature deaths in Europe as well as €125 billion ($137.7 billion) in annual excess costs for European governments, in part through avoidable hospitalizations and emergency room visits. A company case study (PDF) of the hub’s use in the U.S. earlier this year demonstrated adherence rates higher than 95%.