Support for Medication Safety and Compliance in Smart Home Environments

Support for Medication Safety and Compliance in Smart Home Environments

José M. Reyes Álamo (Iowa State University, USA), Hen-I Yang (Iowa State University, USA Iowa State University, USA), Ryan Babbitt (Iowa State University, USA) and Johnny Wong (Iowa State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/japuc.2009090803

Abstract

The rapid pace of new medications introduced to the market and the trend of modern healthcare towards specialization complicates doctors’ prescribing process and patients’ management of medications, resulting in an increase in the likelihood of unsafe prescriptions. The severity of this problem is magnified when patients require multiple medications or have cognitive impairments. The Medicine Information Support System (MISS) is designed to integrate related information systems from doctor offices, pharmacies and patients’ smart homes with a universal database of medication conflicts to enable safety checks for adverse reactions among prescribed medications. MISS enhances the quality of patients’ healthcare by monitoring and promoting the compliance of patients’ medication intake. It also ensures patients’ medical records remain private by following the privacy guidelines and regulations such as the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) law in the United States.
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Some previous efforts have been made to help individuals manage their prescriptions. For example, the Magic Medicine Cabinet (MMC) (Wan, 1999) is an Internet-enabled medication manager equipped with facial recognition software, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) smart labels, and vital signs monitor and voice synthesis. The MMC generates personalized reminders, detects when a wrong medication is taken, and measures vital signs. However, no details are provided on the authors’ claim that their system interacts with the patient’s pharmacy, doctors and health care providers, and no safety checks are made for conflicts among medications. Our work bridges this gap by using WS to connect the patient’s SH with the patient’s visited doctors and pharmacies and to conduct multiple checks for medication conflicts. In New Zealand the ePharmacy system (“ePharmacy,” 2009), connects the doctors and the pharmacies to facilitate medicine prescribing process and dispensing information among these parties. However, there is no mention if this information is shared with a Smart Home System.

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