Randomized Controlled Feasibility Trial of Two Telemedicine Medication Reminder Systems for Older Adults with Heart Failure

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Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare

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Health Information Technology | Health Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Telemedicine


We conducted a feasibility study of a telehealth intervention (an electronic pill box) and an m-health intervention (an app on a smartphone) for improving medication adherence in older adults with heart failure. A secondary aim was to compare patient acceptance of the devices. The participants were 60 adults with HF (65% male). Their average age was 69 years and 83% were Caucasian. Patients were randomized using a 2 2 design to one of four groups: pillbox silent, pillbox reminding, smartphone silent, smartphone reminding. We examined adherence to 4 medications over 28 days. The overall adherence rate was 78% (SD 35). People with the telehealth device adhered 80% of the time and people with the smartphone adhered 76% of the time. Those who received reminders adhered 79% of the time, and those with passive medication reminder devices adhered 78% of the time, i.e. reminding did not improve adherence. Patients preferred the m-health approach. Future interventions may need to address other contributors to poor adherence such as motivation.