mHealth app helps elderly patients with medical independence

Elderly patients who need help remembering their medication may soon need to look no further than their tablet.

A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research finds that a tablet app designed for elderly Spanish patients helped those patients--who had no experience with information and communication technologies--remember to take their medications, according to an article from eWeek.

"The study, which involved 99 elderly Spanish patients (48 in the control group and 51 in the experimental group), indicated the app, called ALICE, resulted in fewer missed doses of medication and helped to significantly reduce medication errors in patients with an initially higher rate of errors," the article states.

ALICE uses the cameras on iOS and Android tablets to enable patients to take pictures of their assorted prescriptions. Once the dosage and instructions for the medicine are recorded, the app displays a picture and sends multiple alerts at the time the patient is due to take each drug.

Eighty-eight percent of the experimental group thought ALICE improved their medical independence. The report discusses additional avenues for study, including virtual pillboxes, and expects the findings to have broader implications for regimental treatments.

However, one hitch in the adoption process could be troubleshooting programs once a routine has been implemented. As the article notes, "more than half of the patients from the experimental group (59 percent) required individual support once they joined the study to solve problems related to the use of ALICE."

For more:
- read the eWeek article

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