Smartphone app shown to improve medication intake compliance in heart patients

According to a research study presented at the 45th Argentine Congress of Cardiology heart patients using a smartphone app reminder are more likely to take their medication than those who receive written instructions,

This study tested the impact of a smartphone application on medication compliance. A total of 90 heart attack patients admitted to hospital were randomly allocated to the app or detailed written information (standard care). Adherence to medical treatment was measured at 90 days using the Morisky Medical Adherence Scale (MMAS-8). For those assigned to the smartphone group, the prescribed medication schedule was uploaded to the digital application, and an alarm would ring each time a pill should be taken. After taking the pills, patients confirmed it in the application. Doctors could check daily adherence using a professional digital platform linked to the patient’s smartphone.

The average age of patients in the study was 63 years and 75% were men. At 90 days, significantly more patients in the digital application group were correctly taking their pills (65%) compared to those who received standard care (21%; p<0.001). A secondary objective of the study was to examine how many patients in each group were hospitalized for another heart attack or had an unplanned visit to the doctor or emergency department. No differences between groups were found.

Overall this study shown increasing use of digital tools to monitor the treatment delivery. However this study does not prove that taking medications on time and digital monitoring would improve patient outcomes. Further research is needed in that respect.