A Tuesday Must Read: “Confessions of a non-compliant patient”

Carolyn Thomas is the ‘Heart Sister’ of the eponymous blog, and has been a guest columnist and commenter in these pages. Via Twitter she brought to her followers’ attention this back posting which chronicles how a person who normally copes with a chronic disease can be absolutely kicked in the kishkes* when a few other physical troubles are added to the pile. Alone, they could be coped with; aggregated and on top of difficulty functioning, they make for Misery. And Misery makes for Non-Compliance. And Non-Adherence. And the Burden of Treatment gets ever heavier, and the frustration of both patient and doctor (pressed to quantify and meet goals) ever grows.

If you are designing technology around compliance, don’t be surprised if many of the people you could benefit treat it like measles if it’s not positioned right or is thinly disguised Nanny Tech. (See ‘Uninvited Guests‘)

Editor Donna will let Ms Thomas take it from here.

Related reading: Is how we are treating patients for chronic diseases (and pre-diseases) all wrong?

*Kishkes (New York Yiddish, antique) = guts.

Categories: Latest News.


  1. Thanks so much, Donna, for this link to my “confessions” post (even though it contains the dreaded C-word that so many of us patients find cringe-worthy).

    Thanks also for your Related Reading suggestion to further seek out the work of Dr. Victor Montori and his Mayo Clinic-based team who are urging their colleagues to consider the unique concept of “Minimally Disruptive Medicine”.

    Real world burden of treatment, in my opinion, is what all health tech hypemeisters (and the pharma marketers who are busy co-opting patient engagement) need to be focused on to address the pervasive issue of “non-compliance”.

    Instead, they’re spinning their wheels trying to come up with the next fantastic beeping flashing digital reminder pillbox . . .


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