In the spring of 1999, the Dutch managed care organization Zorg en Zekerheid (Care and Security) will make a smartcard available to about 600 to 800 of its patient-members, who are suffering from Parkinson's disease. The combined chip/memory card has to enable an improved control and monitoring with regard to the medication behaviour within this specific patient's group, according to the Automatisering Gids.
Patients dealing with Parkinson's, are typical users of huge and frequent amounts of medication. The prescription pattern often is extremely diverse and changes all the time. The new smartcard will allow physicians and pharmacists to introduce the patient's clinical picture, the detailed prescription data and the medication schedule, that exactly indicates when to take which medicine.
The patient is alerted through a signal to take his medicine at the right time. The system also features a display screen which provides all supplementary information on the kind and quantity of required medication. The smartcard is based on biophysical identification of the patient by means of palmprint or fingerprint. This low scale project involves an investment of seven million guilders.
Currently, a number of pharmacists and neurologists are already having the necessary software installed in order to read and manipulate the smartcard memory. Both Siemens and HSB Cardsystems participate in the project as commercial partners. Financial support has been asked from the official Dutch health care research organization, known as Zorgonderzoek Nederland.