Transforming Mental Health: How spencer® Empowers Mental Health Patients
The journey of a person grappling with mental health issues is incredibly challenging, not just for them but also for their caregivers and healthcare providers. Not only does mental illness carry a stigma that can be isolating for patients; the mental illness itself influences how patients manage their disease, leading to poor outcomes. For example, cohort studies have demonstrated that the use of anti-depressants does not improve health-related quality of life (HR-QoL)1 in patients with depression. At the same time, patients taking anti-depressants only take their medication reliably about 50% of the time2 and about half of patients prescribed anti-depressants discontinue within the first six months.3 This creates a vicious cycle where non-adherence leads to lack of efficacy, and ultimately, discontinuation.
The first step in helping mental health patients control their illness is to ensure that they take their psychiatric medications reliably, every day, so they can receive maximal therapeutic benefit. The spencer® in-home medication dispensing device has achieved this by providing a touchstone in the home, auditory and visual alerts, and creating habits that last over long periods of time. The spencer SmartHub™ was built starting with the patient. This meant deeply understanding how patients – along with their caregivers – wish to engage around medication, to ensure the platform met their needs.
Of our patients currently using the spencer SmartHub™, 70% have been diagnosed with a mental illness. Across that population, we’ve seen a remarkable adherence to medication, averaging over 97% on a daily basis.
Equally important, patients are actively engaging with our platform, answering questions about their quality of life and disease progression at an astounding rate of 90%, a trend that has been consistent for nearly 3 years. These interactions have generated over 50 million insights, enabling spencer® to begin predicting medication discontinuation and patient quality of life trends.
So, what happens when a mental health patient consistently adheres to their medication regimen and actively participates in quality of life and disease monitoring? Life improves. In one Spencer Health Solutions study, 60% of patients reported improved symptoms in treatment-resistant depression, and 40% experienced symptom stabilization. In a separate study involving individuals suffering from tardive dyskinesia resulting from chronic use of atypical anti-psychotics, 75% of patients reported a greater willingness to engage in social situations. Importantly, 94% of psychiatric patients that are using spencer® report a positive experience and that they would recommend it to a friend.
At Spencer Health Solutions, we’re proud to stand beside patients on their health journeys and demonstrate that there is a path to improvement and stability. Can technology play a meaningful role in helping those suffering from mental illness? Yes, spencer® can.
1. Almohammed OA, Alsalem AA, Almangour AA, Alotaibi LH, Al Yami MS, Lai L. Antidepressants and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for patients with depression: Analysis of the medical expenditure panel survey from the United States. PLoS One. 2022;17(4):e0265928. doi:10.1371/JOURNAL.PONE.0265928
2. Semahegn A, Torpey K, Manu A, Assefa N, Tesfaye G, Ankomah A. Psychotropic medication non-adherence and its associated factors among patients with major psychiatric disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Syst Rev. 2020;9(1). doi:10.1186/S13643-020-1274-3
3. Sansone RA, Sansone LA. Antidepressant Adherence: Are Patients Taking Their Medications? Innov Clin Neurosci. 2012;9(5-6):41. Accessed October 8, 2023. /pmc/articles/PMC3398686/