Medical adherence can be a concern, with taking medication as prescribed often overlooked. This non-adherence usually happens unknowingly or by accident. Thanks to more than half a million dollars in funding from National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Canadian Institute for Health Research-Institute of Aging (CIHR-IA), Dr Tejal Patel is working to improve medication management and assist older adults when taking their medication at home by correctly matching them with new innovative technologies.
What does her research involve? Entitled Match making: Empowering older adults to age in place through matching automated medication adherence technology to ability, her study focuses on the cognitive, visual, auditory, physical, motivational and environmental barriers that older adults face impacts the use of medication adherence technology to assist with medicine taking. It also is intended to support health-care professionals when it comes to recommending the right products for each patient while also enabling clinicians to monitor how medication is being taken at home.
Consider how medical non-adherence can occur when someone is using technology that is not the right fit for them. For example, as noted in the post on uwaterloo.ca, when a person who is hard of hearing is given a voice-activated technology; they may miss the verbal reminder to take their medication. In this scenario, a visual technology would be a better fit for the patient.
While there are many medication reminders on the market, what Dr. Patel is developing is a decision-making guide that will simplify for health practitioners the matching of patients with the technology best suited for them.
For more about Dr. Patel’s project and her goal for this study, read more at uwaterloo.ca.