Electronic Medication Adherence Technologies Classification to Guide Use in the Older Adults
Author(s): ,
Maheen Farooqi
BSc (c)
Caitlin Carter
Canadian Pharmacists Conference ePoster Library. Patel T. 06/04/17; 174241; 13
Dr. Tejal Patel
Dr. Tejal Patel
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Medication non-adherence in the older adult population can be attributed to several factors (e.g. physical and cognitive functioning). Technologies available to address medication adherence range from alarms integrated into pill boxes to cloud based pill dispensers that remotely connect the patient to caregivers and care providers. This project aimed to systematically find and classify available electronic medication adherence technologies (EMATs) and to determine how these EMATs would impact adherence based on specific factors.

A Google search was conducted to identify EMATs available to Canadians. Additionally, websites of common suppliers were searched (e.g. Amazon, eBay, ePill). A supplementary search of PubMed, Embase, IPA and Scopus was also conducted. Each EMAT was classified by reviewing the description, obtaining the device and/or in discussion with the manufacturer. A preliminary scale was developed to assess the impact of EMAT on adherence, based on patient specific factors (e.g. physical and cognitive limitation, complexity of medications), impact on caregiver stress, availability of remote monitoring, and safety.

The Google search revealed 344 results, of which 40 were relevant to the present project. A total of 80 EMATs were identified and classified as Automatic Pill Dispensers (APDs; n=28), Pill Boxes with Alarms (PBA; n=31), Vibrating Pill Box (VPB; n=3), Electronic Blister Pack (EBP; n=5), Reminder Alarms (RA; n=6), Clock Caps (CC; n=4), or Smart Caps (SC; n=3). APDs, PBAs, VPBs, EPBs, and CCs were thought to improve adherence in older adults with cognitive limitations,improve caregiver stress, and worsen adherence in persons with physical limitations. SCs would likely make no difference on adherence impacted by physical limitations, but may improve caregiver stress.

A significant number of EMATs are available to assist the older adult population with medication adherence. Our comprehensive EMATs list and scale will enable clinicians to recommend an EMAT based on patient specific limitations and needs.

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