Pharma giants Merck and Novartis have increased their investment in mobile phone applications and educational websites, it has emerged.
A report by consultancy Ernst and Young revealed that the two companies have spent 78 per cent more on apps in an attempt to convince patients they should take their drug treatments, as well as eating properly and taking exercise .
It was also found that pharmaceutical firms started 97 different projects for using information technology to benefit patient health in 2010, as compared to the 124 projects that had been initiated in the four years before that. It was shown that around 41 per cent of these projects were for applications on smartphones, which was a rise of 11 per cent from 2006.
Drug manufacturers are now taking more responsibility for ensuring patients are successfully taking their treatments, especially with increased pressure to prove that their drugs are value for money.
Among the applications developed for the iPhone are an app for learning about diabetes and the tracking of levels of blood glucose, Nutrition, and activity, one that provides the opportunity to maintain a record of your vaccinations, and a German language map that allows you to pinpoint locations of diabetes specialists.

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