Review: Smart Medication Packaging and Medication Adherence
the MPR take:
Medication nonadherence is common among patients with chronic conditions including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes but can lead to adverse health effects and hospitalization. Electronic pill monitors can provide medication reminders and track adherence/nonadherence as an alternative to other supportive care measures that require more intensive interventions. A review in the Journal of the American Medical Association evaluated published research on electronic medication packaging (EMP) to identify common features and interventions and assess any potential improvements in medication adherence. Thirty-seven studies were identified and five common features were noted: recorded dosing events and stored records of adherence, audiovisual reminders to cue dosing, digital displays, real-time monitoring, and feedback on adherence performance. Recorder and storage functions were presents in all EMPs evaluated, followed by digital displays and audiovisual reminders as the next most-common features. It is estimated that differences in mean adherence ranged from a decrease of 2.9% to an increase of 34.0%, and differences in the proportion of adherent patients ranged from a decrease of 8.0% to an increase of 49.5%. Although most studies evaluating EMP on improved medical adherence had small patient numbers and short-term interventions, the EMPs with digital displays with audible reminder alarms were associated with improved medication adherence. Higher-quality evidence is needed to further evaluated the use of EMPs in improving medication adherence, across a range of pharmacological treatments.
Importance: Medication nonadherence, which has been estimated to affect 28% to 31% of US patients with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes, may be improved by electronic medication packaging (EMP) devices (adherence-monitoring devices incorporated into the packaging of a prescription medication).
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