Study: Texting to improve medication adherence shows high engagement

Using text messages for two-way communication with patients could be effective at improving medication adherence and at helping providers understand exactly why each individual is not taking their medication, a small study suggests. Researchers at Washington University in St.

Using text messages for two-way communication with patients could be effective at improving medication adherence and at helping providers understand exactly why each individual is not taking their medication, a small study suggests. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis examined the impact of the fully automated, two-way text-messaging intervention program from Epharmix on 25 patients across different disease states. In addition to reminding patients to take their meds, Epharmix asks why they missed doses and notifies providers to help address the issue. Researchers reported high engagement levels, never falling below 75% over an 11-week period, and found the technology offered opportunities to intervene as well as informed valuable drug efficacy and safety data. "A distinct strength of our system seems to be detecting when there is an actionable problem with a patient's regimen, as 62.4% of the missed doses were due to 'out of meds,' 'felt better,' or 'felt sick,'" the researchers wrote. Thus, not only does the system enable personalized adherence efforts, it also helps make the best use of provider time and improves clinical outcomes, they said.

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