Originally published on MobiHealthNews.com
A new study of 1,500 patients casts doubt on the effectiveness of several promising medication adherence technologies and strategies, including connected pill bottles and lottery-based incentives.
The study, called the HeartStrong Study, was recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine
. It was a year-long single-blind study of heart failure patients taking some combination of statins, aspirin, beta blockers and anti-platelet agents. About 1,000 patients used Vitality Glowcap connected pill bottles, daily lottery incentives that paid up to $50 for taking medications on time, and the option of enlisting friends or family to be informed if the connected pill bottle showed they skipped a dose. Additionally, the intervention group had access to a staff engagement advisor.
Ultimately, the study showed no difference in readmissions, mortality, medication adherence, or medical costs between the intervention and control groups.
Researchers expected the technology intervention to be more effective, but in the discussion portion of the study they expressed a few possibilities for why they might have failed. One possibility is that the patient population, heart failure patients recovering from an acute myocardial infarction (AMI), weren’t the right group to benefit from the intervention.
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