Medication Safety 2.0: Advances in Adherence Technology (Drug Topics)

Medication Safety 2.0: Advances in Adherence Technology

Novel computer technologies for improving medication adherence and safety have ushered in a new era of medication reminder and tracking apps, smart pill canisters, and medications with Nano sized biosensors contained within. Although these technologies represent new treatment paradigms for a variety of diseases, they could have unintended implications.

Antipsychotics—available as oral disintegrating tablets, oral solutions, short-acting intramuscular injections, and long-acting injectable formulations—are now being combined with wireless technology. Tahir Rahman, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, explained how one approach includes a patch worn on the abdomen to track and record medication adherence. A related smartphone app tracks medication ingestion and activity level data, as well as self-reported mood and other factors.

“I see trackable pills playing an important role in the future. People who are adherent with care don’t really need them, but there are always medications that are difficult to adhere to,” Rahman told Drug Topics®. These medications include those that require dosing 3 or 4 times a day. “That is where some apps can be helpful to increase adherence.”

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