Home-based mobile system boosts med adherence

Home-based tailored mHealth tools can boost patient medication adherence for those suffering from chronic diseases, according to a new study.

When using a mobile device to track medication intake, there was only a 5 percent error rate for patients suffering from chronic kidney disease, according to the study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The mobile health medication inquiry system (MIS), created by researchers at Duke University School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, gives patients insight into what's safe and what's not safe to take via a text-based or a personal digital assistant platform.

For the study, patients were provided three random sample prescriptions and asked to input the medication data into the MIS, then track the system's response regarding use.

"General usability of the MIS application was high, regardless of platform type," Duke's Clarissa Jonas Diamantidis, M.D., said in an announcement. "The majority of participants found the application easy to use and helpful in avoiding the use of harmful medications, and they would recommend the application to others."

Other healthcare facilities also have seen success when using mobile tools for medication adherence. For instance, a study conducted by Queen Mary University of London showed that text messaging can help patients adhere to prescribed medication.

The MIS study also provided insight on user electronic health literacy levels and how patients view Internet-based mHealth insight and guidance. A majority of participants viewed the Internet as useful; still, only about half acknowledged being comfortable on where to search for resources on the Web, and fewer reported knowing which resource was of better quality.

Finding ways to use mobile tools to get patients to take medication may soon grow in the healthcare industry as more patients use smartphones to aid in their care. Half of patients don't take their medications as prescribed, and despite efforts to encourage patients to take necessary drugs, research published in The Cochrane Library indicates that currently there is no effective intervention.

For more information:
- read the announcement
- here's the study