Each month, we convene several partner organisations from the BEAMER project to discuss one of the six dimensions of quality care—safety, effectiveness, patient-centredness, timeliness, efficiency and equity—as it relates to adherence to treatments.  

You will learn more about who they are and why they care so much about improving adherence across Europe. You’ll also gain insights about how their specific role within the BEAMER project can help prove critical to achieving the quality care that comes when we work together towards better health outcomes.

Adherence to treatment, also known as medication adherence or compliance, refers to the extent to which a patient follows the prescribed or recommended healthcare regimen provided by their healthcare provider. This regimen can include taking medications as prescribed, following a specific diet, undergoing medical procedures, participating in physical therapy, or making lifestyle changes. 

In a few words, can you tell us who you are and which partner organization you are representing?

Beatriz Merino, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM): 

I am Beatriz Merino, a biomedical engineer with a PhD, and I work at the Life Supporting Technologies research group at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. 

Ana Roca-Umbert, PredictBy: 

My name is Ana Roca-Umbert, and I’m a senior research consultant at PredictBy. PredictBy is a research and consulting firm focused on social, behavioural, and data science. We identify and capture societal challenges related to health, the environment, and digital transformation, turning scientific methods into actionable knowledge. 

BEAMER is an IMI-funded project working on developing a model that will help promote better adherence behaviour and improve quality care, a term commonly used in health care. Before we dive further into the topic, we invite our authors to share what “quality care” means to them personally.

Beatriz Merino, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM): 

For me, quality care means a harmonious blend of empathy, evidence-based practice, and patient-centred approaches, ensuring that each person receives the most appropriate treatment tailored to their unique needs. It encompasses not only medical intervention but the entire care experience, fostering trust and understanding between healthcare professionals and patients to enable shared decisions—a 360-degree approach. 

Ana Roca-Umbert, PredictBy: 

For me, quality care means providing the best possible healthcare to patients to ensure their overall well-being. It puts the patient at the centre of the system, where their health and well-being are assessed in a holistic way, considering their preferences and the entire patient journey. From a societal perspective, this care should be accessible to everyone in a timely manner to ensure the greatest benefit for all. 

Photo by Vlada Karpovich

It’s interesting because quality care can be so personal yet at the same time, it touches upon certain themes. To our partners, what current challenges have you observed in terms of efficiency and poor adherence to treatments?” 

Beatriz Merino, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM): 

It is true that BEAMER focuses not only on medication but on adherence to treatment. In this context, several challenges stand out: Firstly, there is a remarkable lack of understanding and communication between healthcare professionals and patients, which often leads to misunderstandings and mistrust. This can result in patients not following the treatments or not fully understanding their importance. 

In addition, the complexity and duration of some treatments make compliance difficult, especially when side effects are added. 

Finally, the fragmentation of many healthcare systems can make patient navigation difficult, leading to missed appointments and inconsistent follow-up. These problems affect not only the efficiency of the delivery of care but also the overall outcomes for patients. 

Ana Roca-Umbert, PredictBy: 

Efficiency is one of the keys to achieving a high-quality healthcare system. In this context, the BEAMER project aims to improve the quality of care by enhancing patient adherence. By analyzing the drivers and consequences of non-adherence to treatment, the BEAMER project has identified a strong link with the efficiency of the healthcare system. For example, a less efficient healthcare system with long waiting times or poor allocation of resources is a common driver of a poorly accessible healthcare system, which often contributes to non-adherence. Additionally, non-adherence to treatment often leads to an overburdening of the system, increasing costs and reducing efficiency. The BEAMER project aims to develop a behavioural model that can contribute to the field of treatment adherence and, as a result, improve the quality of healthcare. 

In this consortium, we see involvement from various sectors, and each of you comes from a diverse background. So, how can your perspectives, expertise and experiences come together within the BEAMER project to address the issues of adherence and efficiency?

Beatriz Merino, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM): 

Leveraging the diversity of backgrounds within this consortium offers a unique strength. Physicians provide us with insights from the clinical side and the doctor-patient perspective, while pharmacists contribute knowledge on the therapeutic aspects of adherence and offer an industry perspective. Our social science partners delve into behavioural factors and examine social repercussions. Furthermore, my engineering background provides a systematic approach to problem-solving. At UPM, we contribute to the development of models and technological tools, as well as process improvements that simplify and enhance adherence to treatment. By merging these diverse perspectives and approaches within the BEAMER project, we can design comprehensive strategies that address both the human and technical dimensions of adherence and efficiency challenges. 

The BEAMER Project brings together experts from different backgrounds, and this is one of the strengths of our consortium as we can address our research questions with a multidisciplinary approach. 

 At PredictBy, we focus on social, behavioural, and data sciences, which allows us to contribute to the design of an adherence model that is centred around behavioural factors such as patient acceptance and control. Additionally, one of the areas of expertise of the PredictBy team is studying the impact of digital health innovations from a socioeconomic perspective. To this end, members of the PredictBy team will contribute to the impact assessment of the BEAMER solution at a later stage of the project. 

For more information about the BEAMER Project and how you can get involved to support its aim to help improve adherence to treatments, visit our page here!

 

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