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Drug monitoring information improves regimen adherence, Carnegie Mellon researchers say
Date:4/29/2014

on. These people had multiple chronic conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure.

For the first two months, the medication-taking performance of each subject was recorded. Then half were given a tablet computer that provided a continually updated display of their medication-taking activities, while the other half were given no additional feedback. The feedback group improved their adherence rate from 95 percent to 98 percent. They also improved the promptness of pill taking from 75 percent to 91 percent, increased the correctness of what they took from 95 percent to 99 percent and significantly reduced variation from day to day in the time when they took their medications. The group that received no feedback saw no improvement in those measures.

Dey said the improvements dissipated when the feedback was removed, suggesting that continuous monitoring and feedback would be beneficial. "But we're not sure what the frequency of that feedback should be," he added. "Is once a week or once a month enough? I do worry about people becoming blind to this that the display becomes just another thing on the wall that you ignore."

The study was performed as part of a larger project for Carnegie Mellon's Quality of Life Technology Center called dwellSense, in which Dey and Lee, then a Ph.D. student in HCII, deployed devices that monitored such activities as making coffee and using a telephone, as well as taking pills, in residences. The idea was to look for subtle changes in habits that might provide early signs that a person's physical or mental capabilities were deteriorating.

Dey said the pillbox monitor can help an observer notice problems that the individuals might not. "I know when I go visit my parents, I can see when they haven't taken a pill," Dey said. "But I can't see if they're confused about what day of the week it is, and that they have opened multiple pillbox doors on the way to opening the correct one."


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Contact: Byron Spice
bspice@cs.cmu.edu
412-268-9068
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

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