Mo­bile app to help HIV pa­tients ad­here to med­i­ca­tions

Fiji Sun - - Spectrum - Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

Re­searchers have de­vel­oped a smart­phone app that could help im­prove ad­her­ence to med­i­ca­tions — such as an­tiretro­vi­ral ther­apy (ART) — among peo­ple liv­ing with HIV by putting the pre­ven­tion in their pocket. The app — named Daily Re­ports of Us­ing Med­i­ca­tions, or DRUM — could help lead peo­ple in­fected with the dis­ease to quicker in­ter­ven­tion in cases where a pa­tient has missed a num­ber of doses. “Life ex­pectancy has changed dra­mat­i­cally as a re­sult of ad­vances in phar­ma­cother­apy, which is won­der­ful, but ad­her­ence is key. You can live a long, healthy life with HIV, but you have to take your medicines on time,” said lead au­thor Sarah­mona Przy­byla, As­sis­tant Pro­fes­sor at Univer­sity of Buf­falo in New York, in the US. The study found that par­tic­i­pants of­ten didn’t take their med­i­ca­tion as a re­sult of a change in daily rou­tine or be­cause they sim­ply for­got. Use of sub­stance abuse like al­co­hol or drugs was the other com­mon rea­son for not tak­ing med­i­ca­tions. The app has an in­built daily re­port, which asks users to self-re­port on ART ad­her­ence as well as daily sub­stance use. Sub­stance use has been found as one of the most re­li­able pre­dic­tors of poor ad­her­ence to ART, the re­searchers noted. The re­searchers found that par­tic­i­pants not only found the app easy and con­ve­nient to use, they were also will­ing to pro­vide hon­est re­sponses to queries and fill the daily ad­her­ence re­port. For par­tic­i­pants who re­ported that they had used al­co­hol or drugs in the past 24 hours, the app pro­vides a se­ries of fol­lowup ques­tions that asks as to why they used the sub­stance and where they were when they used it, with a drop­down menu of an­swer choices. “With this app, we can reach out to peo­ple with HIV and say, we’ve no­ticed you’ve been us­ing sub­stances and that seems to be re­lated to the fact that you’ve missed your doses — what can we do to help you? With the app, it is like putting pre­ven­tion in their pock­ets,” Przy­byla ob­served in the pa­per pub­lished in the jour­nal AIDS Re­search and Treat­ment.

Photo: In­dian Ex­press

The app — named Daily Re­ports of Us­ing Med­i­ca­tions, or DRUM — could help lead peo­ple in­fected with the dis­ease to quicker in­ter­ven­tion in cases where a pa­tient has missed a num­ber of doses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.