Emergency Medicine Research Trainee
Tom JJ, Kaithamattam J, Hasdianda AM, Goodman GR, Vaduganathan M, Schnipper J, Sciria BM, Chai PR
Peter Chai, MD, MMS
Research Category: Cardiovascular, Diabetes, and Metabolic Disorders
Background: Heart failure (HF) affects 6.2 million Americans and is a leading cause of hospitalization. Despite effective pharmacologic options, adherence is suboptimal, resulting in disease progression. Digital pill systems (DPS) that use an ingestible radiofrequency emitter to measure medication ingestion may be a strategy to measure and respond to non-adherence.
Methods: We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews to explore facilitators and barriers associated with using the DPS to measure HF pharmacotherapy adherence among individuals admitted to the hospital with HF. Interviews covered baseline perceived adherence, introduced participants to the DPS and sought formative feedback and perceptions of the system. Debrief guides were reviewed with the study team and analyzed using a framework matrix.
Results: Mean age of participants (N=20) was 68 years, predominantly female (N=11, 55%), white (N=13, 65%), and non-Hispanic (N=18, 90%). Most participants favored the use of DPS to measure HF pharmacotherapy adherence (N=12, 60%). Participants perceived the DPS as a helpful tool to self-monitor adherence and increase personal accountability. They also described interest in interacting with reminders associated with DPS adherence patterns. Only 30% of participants reported privacy concerns surrounding DPS.
Conclusion: Individuals with heart failure perceived DPS as an acceptable and useful tool for measuring medication adherence.
Heart failure (HF) affects 6.2 million Americans and is a leading cause of hospitalization in the elderly. Despite the availability of effective medications, worsening of HF is common due to medication nonadherence. Digital pill systems (DPS) comprising an ingestible radiofrequency emitter that sends a signal to a wearable reader device when a drug is taken, can help provide important information around how people take their medications. We enrolled twenty participants who were admitted to the hospital with heart failure and conducted interviews to understand their perceptions of the DPS to measure HF medication adherence. The average age of participants was 68 years, and most were women (N = 11, 55%) and non-Hispanic (N = 13, 65%). Most participants favored the use of DPS to measure HF medication adherence (N = 12, 60%). Participants perceived the DPS as a helpful tool to self-monitor adherence and increase personal accountability. They also expressed interest in setting reminders before and after their pill time to achieve optimal adherence. Only 30% of participants reported privacy concerns surrounding DPS. Overall, individuals with heart failure felt that DPS was a useful tool for measuring medication adherence.