Axis reduces burden on pharmacists and patients in Japan with its new Medixs solution based on Twilio’s programmable SMS platform

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million patients require medications in Japan

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% survey respondents successfully provided remote follow-ups

Anyone can imagine just how cumbersome managing patients’ medication records can be. With a population of more than 126 million people in Japan, keeping track of so many different medications for each patient needs to be as precise as possible. Axis helped solve this challenge with its Medixs’ solution, a cloud-based, cost efficient, electronic medication record system that is easy to implement. Its variety of functions support patients’ safety while helping to streamline pharmacists’ guidance and communications post the administration of certain medications, especially those with high-risk and potential interactions.

In September of last year, the Pharmaceutical Affairs and Medical Device Act enacted a revision requiring patient follow-ups after specific medications were dispensed, however, pharmacists’ workloads have increased due to this new act, so there was a critical need to implement an easier and more efficient communications solution. In the past, medication guidance was primarily given over the phone which also required that the pharmacist keep a record of the conversation with the patient. Additionally many patients didn’t answer their phones, making it difficult to conduct necessary follow-up calls. So the revision to the September Act was an opportunity to re-examine communications tools that could help reduce the burden on the pharmacists while ensuring patients received the necessary medication guidance.

Kazuma Kondo, director of Axis, Inc., honed in on SMS as a viable platform to help address these challenges. Given the majority of patients are in the older age groups, SMS text messaging was determined to be the most effective and cost efficient method for reaching the widest group of patients. Axis evaluated several options for building a messaging platform and chose Twilio’s Programmable Messaging for Medixs, its cloud-based electronic medication record solution. Twilio provided many value-add features as part of its standard Programmable Messaging offering, while other companies’ basic plans had limitations, such as the number of characters and carrier support, hence having to paying extra.

“Twilio made it very easy for us to choose them, as their onboarding process included seeing necessary documentation in advance, enabled our engineers to plan and estimate the work needed beforehand,” said Kondo. “Twilio's development department also provided hands-on technical support, making it so easy that relatively inexperienced engineers were able to implement the service very quickly.”

Kazuma Kondo Director

Additionally, Twilio’s service supports a variety of channels and touchpoints

It’s no surprise that the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the healthcare industry, pharmacies included. During lockdown in Japan, many patients’ 30-day prescriptions were turned into 90-days, so dispensing large-volume prescriptions made it difficult to monitor missed doses and provide guidance. However, the Medixs service based on Twilio’s Programmable Messaging platform eased the process of conducting follow-ups and properly keeping records. In June of last year, Axis conducted a survey of more than 900 pharmaceutical employees and found that nearly fifty percent of the respondents had successfully provided medication guidance remotely, indicating there is a steady increase in remote follow-ups.

Additionally in Japan, it is estimated that as many as 20 million patients have chronic diseases. Axis believes its Medixs service based on Twilio’s Programmable Messaging platform will provide many benefits to both pharmacists and patients with these chronic conditions as many of them are hesitant to visit medical facilities during the pandemic. Having the ability to properly communicate about certain medications is key at this time.

Moving forward, Axis envisions a future in which all prescriptions can be dispensed and delivered in a worry-free manner for both pharmacists and patients. To expand on the success of its Medixs’ solution, Axis is also looking at extending pharmacists’ ability to connect with patients anytime, anywhere by implementing Twilio Studio – Having Twilio by its side, Axis is excited at the prospect of leveraging the potential of IT and healthcare to further reduce burdens on pharmacists and patients.

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