User Acceptability and Technical Robustness Evaluation of a Novel Smart Pill Bottle Prototype Designed to Support Medication Adherence
Received 29 November 2019
Accepted for publication 27 February 2020
Published 20 March 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 625—634
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single anonymous peer review
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen
Tanja R Zijp,1 Daan J Touw,1–3 Job FM van Boven1,3
1Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; 2Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, University of Groningen, Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, Groningen, the Netherlands; 3Medication Adherence Expertise Center of the Northern Netherlands (MAECON), Groningen, the Netherlands
Correspondence: Job FM van Boven
University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1 (Internal Postcode EB70), Groningen 9700 RB, the Netherlands
Purpose: Smart medication adherence monitoring devices can provide objective and granular drug utilization data and help patients engaging with their treatment. In this proof-of-concept study, the acceptability and technical robustness of a novel smart pill bottle prototype (SPBP) were assessed in order to allow further optimization.
Methods: The SPBP is an app-controlled automatic dispense system, capturing real-time data on a web-based platform, which sends text reminders and measures storage conditions. A heterogeneous group of ten volunteers was asked to dispense placebo capsules with the SPBP and to follow a predefined dosing schedule for a trial period of 2 weeks. Afterwards, a questionnaire was filled out during a short interview. Primary outcome was dispense adherence as measured by the bottle. Other study outcomes included system acceptability (System Usability Scale [SUS]), self-reported adherence (MARS) and technical robustness of the bottle’s mechanics (electronic pill dispenser) and sensors (bottle temperature).
Results: The overall dispense adherence rate as measured by the SPBP was 88%. All participants completed the study and four participants had an adherence rate of 100% during the study. The dispense adherence rates corresponded well with participants’ self-reported adherence with an average MARS total score of 23.6 (out of 25). Participants judged the system easy to use, with a mean SUS score of 79.3 (range: 57.5– 97.5). The overall mean temperature difference between the bottle sensor and calibrated external sensor was − 0.82°C (range: − 1.37°C to − 0.21°C).
Conclusion: The SPBP was well accepted and this study provides data for further optimization and follow-up studies. Smart adherence technologies such as these may change the way healthcare professionals, trialists and patients manage medication adherence.
Keywords: smart device, real-time monitoring, medication management, electronic data, medication dispenser, mobile app
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