Intelligent Medication Adherence Monitoring System (iMedPlus)

Intelligent Medication Adherence Monitoring System (iMedPlus)

Athanasios Anastasiou (Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Division of Information Transmission Systems and Material Technology, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece), Kostas Giokas (Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Division of Information Transmission Systems and Material Technology, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece), Georgia Koutsouri (Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Division of Information Transmission Systems and Material Technology, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece) and Dimitra Iliopoulou (Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Division of Information Transmission Systems and Material Technology, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/ijrqeh.2012100102
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Abstract

This paper presents the architecture and implementation of an automatic medication dispenser (iMedPlus) specifically for users who take medications without close professional supervision. By relieving the users from the error-prone tasks of interpreting medication directions and administrating medications accordingly, the device can improve rigor in compliance and prevent serious medication errors. By taking advantage of scheduling flexibility provided by medication directions, the device makes the user’s medication schedule easy to adhere and tolerant to tardiness whenever possible. This work is done collaboratively by the medication scheduler and dispenser controller in an action-oriented manner. An advantage of the action-oriented interface between the components is extensibility, as new functions can be added and existing ones removed with little or no need to modify the dispenser control structure. The paper first describes the action-oriented design, major components, and hardware structures of the smart device. It then provides an overview of the heuristic algorithms used by the medication scheduler and their relative merits. The different available user options are presented depicting the user-specific operating modes of the device/service. The scope of this paper is to describe the development of a smart electronic drug dispenser unit for the pharmaceutical adherence of patients.
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Introduction

Thanks to years of advances in medical and pharmaceutical technologies, more and more drugs can cure or control previously fatal diseases and help people live actively for decades longer. The benefits of the drugs would be even more wondrous were it not for the high rate of preventable medication errors (Veacez, 2006; Lisby et al., 2005; Law et al., 2003; Wertheimer, 2003). Medication errors are known to occur throughout the medication use process of ordering, transcription, dispensing, and administration. They lead to many hundred thousands of serious adverse drug events, thousands of deaths and billions of Euros in hospital cost each year. These alarming statistics have motivated numerous efforts in research, development and deployment of information technology systems and tools for prevention of medication errors (Kuperman et al., 2007; Baron et al., 2005).

iMedPlus aims to develop a medication adherence monitoring system, comprising of a portable medication dispenser with communication capabilities and a software platform allowing monitoring by medical personnel and/or carer. The patient data recorded by the dispenser (rate of medication intake) will be collected and will be transmitted in real-time to the hospital (via any Internet) link), where it will be analyzed and any alerts will be raised.

This will enable the doctors to:

  • Monitor the progress of the patient and intervene in the case of an anomaly.

  • Monitor treatment compliance of the patient.

On the other hand, it will also enable the carer to:

  • Monitor the depletion of one or more medication.

iMedPlus addresses the needs of patients with chronic illnesses that require encouragement and supervision with their medication. Monitoring is achieved through the use of a medication dispenser, which collects information about the patients’ medication adherence. The dispenser will contain electronics that record automatically the time and date the dispenser is accessed. These data will be transmitted via an Internet connection to the clinical team base.

Methodology

In order to acquire the most of our system, the proposed solution of iMedPlus will consist of four basic components:

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