Sellwood resident Mary Schutten is the founder, inventor, and patent-holder of 'IdentiMed', a successful product sold nationally which helps people organize their medications.
Seniors and people with long-term medical conditions frequently take a dozen or more medications daily, often at specific, timed intervals. Schutten's visual guide and information system helps individuals and their caregivers accurately manage their medications.
Schutten has over 20 years experience in teaching and designing training systems. Her incentive to create IdentiMed occurred when her mother-in-law, Marian, was diagnosed with breast cancer and acute leukemia. She was prescribed a treatment plan of 22 different medicines. When Schutten looked for a medical management system to help organize all these doses, she found that none existed--so she invented one.
The kit comes in basic or deluxe models. The basic kit includes 2 patented pill pages, 2 medical form inserts, a personal health diary, medical and insurance forms, stickers, and directions. 'I am so proud to take this tool forward in Marian's honor,' says Schutten. 'IdentiMed helps patients become active participants in their own health-care by providing tools to clarify treatment plans.'
'It's a well-known fact that most people are visual rather than auditory learners,' says Schutten. Consequently, it seemed logical to her to develop a visual guide for managing multiple medicines. IdentiMed is patented as the first complete medical journal that can inform, educate, and empower caregivers. It is also a useful communication tool between professional health care providers and lay people to improve health care decisions.
Doctors, patients, and medical specialists praise IdentiMed for its concise organization and visual efficiency. Patients taking multiple medications can be confused by unfamiliar chemical names, generic substitutes, and dosage changes. This is especially true if their medical conditions or drugs cause diminished mental acuity. Beverly Kirkhart, cancer survivor and co-author of 'Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul' noted: 'IdentiMed is brilliant. It takes the stress out of which medicine to take and when, allowing a patient to focus on living.'
Providence Hospital Dr. Joe Sullivan says that IdentiMed is ideal for daily use as well as emergency situations. 'It should be the standard of care.' An oncology nurse praised IdentiMed's ease in changing drug types or doses. Susan Pemberton, Portland RN Home Health Administrator, likes the visual identification of sample pills, and notes, 'It is easy to use with low-literacy patients.' The kit has proven a life-saver during Emergency Room visits, allowing doctors to quickly and concisely evaluate an individual's medical needs.
Currently IdentiMed is in use at the Multnomah County HIV Clinic, at the OHSU HIV and Bone Marrow Transplant Units, as well as at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon, Southwest Washington Medical Center, and several Home Health Care organizations. It is also being sold to the public on the Home Shopping Network, and Schutten is negotiating with Rite Aid executives to possibly pilot the product in their stores.
Schutten has been busy writing articles and tip sheets for news spots, conferences, and on-line health-related organizations. In April she received her Canadian patent, and plans to expand with international sales. Currently, IdentiMed is sold coast to coast by regional sales reps, through the Norm Thompson's Solutions Catalog, and through the Internet. If you'd like to learn more, check www.identimed.com, or call 503/233-9505.
With care and foresight, Sellwood's Mary Schutten appears to have patented a product that will have lasting positive effects in the world of medicine.