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Study Finds Electronic Pill Bottle Promising

June 24, 2010
by root
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The Boston-based Center for Connect Health, a division of Partners Healthcare, have announced initial findings of a medication adherence study which used a wireless electronic pill bottle to remind patients with high blood pressure to take their medication. The ongoing study measured a 27% higher rate of medication adherence in patients using Internet connected medication packaging and feedback services compared to controls.

The randomized controlled study assessed the impact of the wireless GlowCap developed by Vitality, Inc. GlowCaps fit popular pill bottles and signal patients with light and sound when it is time to take the medication inside. An embedded wireless connection enables the GlowCap to respond to the patient with automated calls for any missed dose, weekly progress reports, and refill reminders. GlowCaps also share adherence with physicians and a social network if the patient chooses.

In total, one hundred and thirty nine patients diagnosed with hypertension and taking an antihypertensive medication were enrolled in a six month study starting in August 2009. Each participant was randomized into one of three groups: those in the control group did not receive any communication or GlowCap services; the intervention group received visual and audio reminders from the GlowCap as well as missed dose reminder phone calls, medication refill reminders and progress reports emailed to the patient, family member and /or their primary care provider. Participants in an intervention-plus group additionally received a financial incentive if they exceeded a monthly adherence goal of 80%.

Three month interim analysis shows study participants in the intervention and intervention-plus group achieved adherence rates of 98% and 99%, respectively. This was significantly higher than the control group, which had an adherence rate of 71%. The study is also measuring blood pressure control and subject satisfaction. Final analysis of the study is anticipated this fall.

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