Navigation Links
Electronic Pillbox Helps Seniors Stick to Drug Regimens
Date:5/7/2008

Study found fewer doses were missed, more doses taken on time

WEDNESDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults following a medication regimen are less likely to miss doses when reminded by an electronic pillbox that both beeps at the appointed drug-taking time and announces the number of pills to take and how to take them, new research reveals.

The study, which was funded by the National Institute on Aging, was presented recently at the American Geriatric Society meeting in Washington, D.C., by co-authors Vesta Brue, founder and chairman of Lifetechniques Inc., of San Antonio, and P. Ryder, of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Health Services Research division. Lifetechniques is the manufacturer of the particular electronic pillbox that was the focus of the research.

The interactive pillbox was given to a group of patients between the ages of 65 and 84 who were each following a prescription regimen of a least four medications.

All the patients were self-sufficient with respect to their ability to take their own medications and to move about freely. About one-third of the patients were men. About 38 percent were white, 40 percent were black, and 22 percent were Hispanic.

After three weeks to monitor natural pill-taking patterns, patients were tracked for three more weeks using "MedSignals" -- an electronic pillbox that is already commercially available.

The pillbox holds up to a month's supply of medications, with separate compartments for up to four drugs. As programmed, the box beeps at pill-taking times, indicates the appropriate compartment, and displays the number of pills to take on a screen. As well, when the compartment lid is lifted a programmed audio message announces the number of pills to take, along with specific information about how to ingest the particular medication.

All the boxes were rigged to record, time-stamp and transmit via phone lines all lid openings, which the researchers equated with the taking of an actual medication. The researchers noted that the pillbox comes with such a phone-monitoring system, for patients and their caregivers to use as desired.

The researchers found that electronic pillboxes boosted drug adherence. With the boxes, patients prescribed more than a single dose per day of any particular drug took one pill more per day on average, the authors found. As well, the number of days when patients accidentally skipped their drug regimen altogether dropped to just 6 percent when using an electronic pillbox -- from 12 percent without the box.

In addition, the proportion of doses taken within 15 percent of the time they should be taken went up with the electronic pillbox.

Dr. David Flockhart, director of the division of clinical pharmacology at Indiana University's School of Medicine in Indianapolis, said the notion of an electronic pillbox draws critical attention to a major public health concern.

"Compliance with medications is a huge problem in general, and in particular among the elderly," he observed. "And it is even more problematic among those who take a lot of medication, which is a lot of people, given that the majority of seniors who take medications take more than five prescriptions a day. So the value of something like this is potentially very large."

"However," he added, "the question always come up as to whether these kinds of benefits seen in a clinical trial would really translate to the real world. Because the patients in a study like this know that they're being monitored, so they might be remembering to do something when the box beeps that they might not actually remember in real life. So I would encourage the investigators to follow up this finding with a strictly observational study, rather than a clinical trial, to see how this will work in a natural setting."

To take control of their prescription medication regimen, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that senior citizens use a calendar or a pillbox to help adhere to drug routines. They point out that pillboxes with multiple compartments are particularly helpful for older patients dealing with complex multi-pill regimens, as well as for those who have difficulty opening safety sealed drug containers.

The FDA also encourages seniors to undergo a yearly "Medicine Check-Up," as an opportunity to both toss out expired medicines and to discuss possible drug side effects and interactions with a pharmacist and/or doctor.

On that score, a second study also presented at the meeting by Yale University School of Medicine researchers indicated that more than 90 percent of senior citizens taking five or more medications experience one or more "mildly bothersome" side effects. And one-third attributed such mood change, insomnia, impaired balance, fatigue, and/or dizziness problems to one of their medications.

More information

For more advice on safe prescription medication use for senior citizens, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



SOURCES: David Flockhart, M.D., Ph.D., director, division of clinical pharmacology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; April 30-May 4, 2008, American Geriatric Society meeting, Washington, D.C.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. More proof needed of safety and quality of electronic personal health records
2. Glades General Hospital First in Palm Beach County to Provide On-Site Electronic Birth Registration
3. The ScottCare Corporation Completes Acquisition of Rozinn Electronics, a Leading Manufacturer of Cardiac Diagnostic Products
4. Keane Wins $1 Million Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Implementation at New Jersey-Based Acute Care Facility
5. West Penn Allegheny Health System Selects Electronic Health Record From Allscripts
6. Sandia National Laboratories Selects Allscripts Electronic Health Record and Practice Management for Employee Health Center
7. Kaiser Permanente Named Green Electronics Champion by EPA, Green Electronics Council
8. The Cardiovascular Multimedia Network (CVMD) and the International Society of Endovascular Specialists (ISES) Join Forces to Educate Practitioners Worldwide Through Electronic Media
9. Texas Childrens Hospital Selects Hyland Softwares OnBase to Complete Electronic Medical Records Initiative
10. Lakeside Systems Selects Allscripts Electronic Health Record for 100 Physicians
11. Herley Industries, Inc. Receives a $5 Million Award from EDO for Electronic Components for IEDs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Electronic Pillbox Helps Seniors Stick to Drug Regimens
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... In just two ... Frame vertical micro-veggies garden on Kickstarter . Surpassing the $100,000 milestone so ... nearly 2,000 consumers (and counting) already backing the campaign. , “We are ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... The ... and White Plains, N.Y., is pleased to announce Westchester resident Lauren C. Enea has ... law clerk for the firm, will concentrate her practice in elder law, Medicaid planning ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Judy Buchanan, co-owner of Serenity ... MD. Judy says, “I am passionate about sharing Reiki as a holistic, complementary ... and challenging time.” , A Certified Medical Reiki™ Master trained by Raven Keys ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... “The Communion of Saints: A ... God in congregations across the United States. “The Communion of Saints” is ... who has served congregations in seven states throughout his long career of devotion ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... The physicians of KSF Orthopaedic ... greater Houston Area. The new location is located at 2255 E. Mossy Oaks Rd., ... Village. This newest location will provide patients living in the north Houston area (The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Replacement Procedure By Technique, Repair Procedure By Technique, By Region, By ... ... forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 13.35% during 2016-2021 ... rising aging population, growth in population with heart disease and rising ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 ... report created through extensive primary research (inputs from ... report aims to present the analysis of global ... Procedure (Replacement and Repair); Replacement Procedure By Technique ... By Technique (Surgical Devices, Balloon Valvuloplasty, Transcatheter Mitral ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 As a result of ... the prevalence of allergic diseases, cutting edge developments ... revolutionising the ways in which pharmaceutical and biotech ... promises to be both a high quality meeting ... interest groups, immunologists, research scholars and doctors. The ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: