Medication only works when it is taken, and yet, about 40% of pills are not taken as prescribed – a problem that is increasingly important given the global epidemic of non-communicable disease. Fortunately, emerging digital technologies and evolving health systems can help patients take their lifesaving pills.
While the world is making great progress in building stronger health systems, training healthcare workers and going the last mile toward health care access, we will lose impact if we can’t get lifesaving medication the last 18 inches – from the pill bottle to a patient’s mouth.
Peter Small was a clinician at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic at the University of California, San Francisco and a scientist at Stanford University during the boom of genomics. He built and ran the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Tuberculosis program before founding Stony Brook University’s Global Health Institute where he explored innovative ways to bring health care to really remote regions of Madagascar and Nepal. Pulling from all of these experiences, his fellowship focused on identifying solutions to under appreciated global health challenges.