Parkinson's Disease

Using digital tools to help manage complex medication regimens
Using digital tools to help manage complex medication regimens

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the brain that affects movement and leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance and coordination. Approximately four million people are living with PD worldwide. With disease progression, the course of therapy becomes lengthy and complex, and successful treatment to manage symptoms requires absolute adherence to medication therapy. PD patients require multiple medications, at multiple dosing times throughout the day, every day. There are no "days off."


True medication adherence is a challenge for anyone with a complex condition, but it's especially hard when managing multiple medications and dosing times. Lack of adherence to medication can lead to worsening of PD symptoms, decreased quality of life, depression, increased hospitalization and healthcare costs. Caregiver burden is also a major issue, with average onset of PD as early as 60 years of age, care is often handled by spouses and partners that are stretched to look after themselves and their loved ones. Collaboration among a clinical care team, a patient and caregiver is challenging with such a high degree of complex care. People managing chronic conditions at home themselves or with the help of loved ones are often lacking resources and don't know where to turn.

This is a great way to gather and share information with the care team on trends in symptoms over a period of time…for my diabetes nurse, neurologist, GP & pharmacist.

Study patient


Community pharmacies


Avg med adherence

7 meds/5x

Medications & dosing times

98 days

Study period

We provided spencer home-hub dispenser to patients with PD living with a caregiver. They were prescribed two or more oral medications and used spencer for reminders and for medication administration for 98 days to measure adherence rates, and the impact on caregiver burden. We examined the value of introducing a new technology and how it could impact patient lives, caregiver stress and help to enhance support through their circle of care.


Our Parkinson's disease patients achieved 98% average medication adherence over 98 days averaging five dosing times per day, with seven medications. Adherence monitoring and personalized engagement questions resulted in actionable data for clinical pharmacists to triage. Pill burden, or the complexity and volume of medication, was reduced for caregivers and patients, through the use of digital health tools. Health care providers in the patients' circle of care received actionable data from personalized engagement with patients & gained real-time adherence monitoring information. Real time data meant pharmacists could address gaps in care & patient knowledge, and had the information required to clinically intervene, provide support and improve health outcomes. As a result of the implementation of spencer in medication administration and monitoring, all caregivers reported less burden in managing loved one’s medications.