Brigham & Women’s Uses mHealth To Track Medication Compliance
The Boston Hospital will be using an mHealth platform that tracks user’s medication use in a program aimed at improving medication management among patients who are prescribed opioids.
By Eric Wicklund
September 29, 2020 – Brigham and Women’s Hospital is launching an mHealth program to track medication adherence for patients who have been prescribed opioids.
The Boston-based hospital’s Center for Pain Management will use Covectra’s ControlTrack mobile health platform in the program, which gathers connected health data from providers and pharmacists and calls on the patient to track and transmit medication use in real time.
“Patient engagement is a critical part of providing patient-centered care and reinforcing treatment goals and potential dangers,” Edgar Ross, MD, a physician with the Pain Management Center, said in a press release. “This is of particular importance as we balance the challenges of delivering patient care in the presence of COVID-19.”
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In the program, medications are dispensed at the pharmacy in a package that is personalized for each patient. Using an mHealth app on a smartphone, patients take a photograph of the package after each dose and send that image to care providers. Providers, in turn, can use the telehealth platform to track when and how much medication is taken and conduct virtual pill counts.
In an e-mail exchange, Ross said the pilot program will focus on roughly 100 participants. Along with measuring the accuracy of the technology, Brigham and Women’s officials will be studying how easily the platform integrates with the medical record and physician and pharmacy workflows and how patients engage with the platform.
Ross said the goal of the program is to use telehealth to improve medication management and compliance, particularly in the patient’s home.
With in-person visits sharply curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, care providers are looking to telehealth and remote patient monitoring to extend care to the home and reduce the need for in-person checkups. This is especially true in medication management, which can affect clinical outcomes if not closely monitored.
Care providers have been experimenting with a number of mHealth and telehealth tools and services in recent years, including digital pillboxes, wearables that monitor medication intake, online portals for logging medication use, sensor-embedded pills and mHealth platforms that record the user taking the medication.