Bang & Olufsen's medical division, Medicom, has announced that they will develop a meds compliance product with AstraZeneca (press release). Designed to improve compliance with complex drug regimens, the Helping Hand will be sold through pharmaceutical companies. While reimbursement for such products remains forthcoming, the need is well known:

In a survey conducted in the US in 2005, nearly two-thirds (64%) of
patients who were prescribed regular medication reported that they have
simply forgotten to take their medication, with 11 percent saying that
this has happened "often" or "very often”. This non-compliance is said to cost an estimated $30 billion (€24.9bn) annual cost to pharmaceutical companies
from prescriptions and repeat prescriptions that are never filled,
there are also additional costs related to Healthcare providers, the
government and society in general. Health-wise, non compliance has
serious consequences for the patient themselves, including
hospitalization and in some severe cases, death.

The feature set for this new device is typical:

  • Acoustic and/or visual reminder function adjusted to dosing regime.
  • Patented feed-back to patient in terms of medication taken. The
    feedback is relayed to the patient with a visual signal (red is poor
    compliance, yellow is average and green is good).
  • Discreet, portable storage and protection of medication.

What sets this device apart is the size, and of course the typical B&D eye-candy appeal (pictured right).

[Hat tip: Medgadget]