Managing a chronic illness and relying on daily medications can be challenging at times. Research by the World Health Organization shows that 50% of medications are not taken or not taken properly. Unfortunately, this so-called ‘non-adherence’ has fatal consequences: every year more than 325,000 people (across Europe and the United States) die prematurely due to medication non-adherence. Often patients rely on family members or caregivers to remind them. But this puts pressure on the support network and people can feel alone and frustrated in their predicament.
That’s where smartpatient’s MyTherapy app (available for iOS and Android) comes in. Delivered entirely as a digital service, MyTherapy is Europe’s leading digital medication adherence support platform, supporting more than 500,000 users. Not only does the service send users medication reminders, it can also be used as a health journal to help patients stay in control of their medications, measurements, and other aspects of their health. With intuitive dashboards and simple to-do lists, MyTherapy makes it easy for patients and healthcare professionals to manage treatment plans from any computer or mobile device.
Fixing issues with proactive monitoring
With thousands of users relying on smartpatient’s service, performance and availability are key to the success of MyTherapy. As Max Joas, head of operational excellence at smartpatient, explains: ‘For MyTherapy, server availability is of utmost importance. When user growth picked up some years ago, early detection of potential bottlenecks became hugely important to us. At that time we had a basic monitoring in place, which did not allow us to identify the cause of performance issues sufficiently early.’
New Relic APM was identified as a solution that could provide deeper visibility into the MyTherapy platform and easily scale as the platform grew. MyTherapy experiences extreme peak times for only a couple of minutes each day, as people tend to set their reminders on the hour around mealtimes. This puts strain on the platform, which needs to be carefully managed. New Relic gives the insight to plan for peak times and ensure the platform is robust.
Wolfram Kerl, head of product at smartpatient, confirms this experience: ‘Once we deployed New Relic, we suddenly saw issues before they could actually cause problems for our MyTherapy users. Even performance bottlenecks that were developing very slowly over time could quickly be uncovered thanks to the visibility provided by New Relic. Now we can recognise negative performance patterns as a trend and take pre-emptive action straightaway to address it.’
Interactions with the smartpatient drug database and between patient and doctor require an instant response time. New Relic is proving its value here by closely monitoring these transactions and alerting on any issues in the response time immediately.