Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Friendly Reminder For HIV Patients

Date:
September 15, 2005
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
In a study from Johns Hopkins, a pocket-size device giving electronic-voice reminders to "take your medicine" proves to be a success for people living with HIV whose memory is slightly impaired by the virus.

A pocket-size device giving electronic-voice reminders to “take your medicine” proves to be a success for people living with HIV whose memory is slightly impaired by the virus.
Credit: Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

In a study from Johns Hopkins, a pocket-size device giving electronic-voice reminders to "take your medicine" proves to be a success for people living with HIV whose memory is slightly impaired by the virus.

The investigators report that the device, dubbed "Jerry" by most users, is a portable gadget programmed to ease the task of taking medicines in multiple doses every day on time. HIV-infected patients, particularly those suffering from mild memory loss from the disease, benefit highly from Jerry's friendly reminders, according to a study published in the Sept. 15 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Like an alarm clock, Jerry, more properly known as Disease Management Assistance System (DMAS), flashes a light and verbally tells the patient the exact dosage and medication to take at the correct time. DMAS is rechargeable and weighs about as much as a cell phone. Its computer programming keeps track of the patient's compliance, allowing the doctor to download and print a report for monitoring the patient's adherence to the medication schedule.

"One of the biggest reasons HIV patients cite for not taking their medication is just plain forgetfulness," says Adriana Andrade, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University Division of Infectious Diseases. "We thought a verbal reminder would be the best possible solution."

According to Andrade, treating HIV can be a grueling task for patients who must follow a hectic pill schedule, a combination of drugs called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Those who miss their medication a few times quickly develop a viral resistance to the drug, a problem since replacement options are few.

"On average, HIV-infected, treatment-naοve patients today take roughly two pills once a day, a significant decrease from a few years ago, when patients had to juggle dozens of medications per week," says Andrade. "But with all the regimens, patients must adhere to their medication faithfully because the virus easily develops a resistance, more so than most infectious diseases."

HIV can cause brain damage, making it more difficult for some patients to remember their HAART regimen, which is often different for every patient.

"We recruited patients with either normal memory or mild memory impairment for the study," says Andrade. "The results indicate that both groups adhered to their medication more so than not with Jerry, but the memory-impaired patients showed a greater improvement."

Fifty-eight of 64 patients completed the four-month study. Half of the patients were given a Jerry device and attended adherence counseling sessions, while the other half received only counseling. Those with Jerry took their medication 80 percent of the time, while those without did so only 65 percent of the time.

Of the 31 memory-impaired patients, those using Jerry had a 77 percent adherence rate, while those without Jerry had a 57 percent adherence rate, a 20 percent difference. The remaining patients with normal memory also adhered more with Jerry, but there was not a significant variance from those without the device, according to the researchers.

Throughout the study, all patients were given plasma viral load tests, which measure the amount of HIV in the blood. However, there was no significant difference in lessening the HIV amount between those with or without Jerry, according to the researchers.

"Hopefully, other devices like the DMAS will be further evaluated in similar studies, while incorporating the recent technologies of the two-way pager, cell phones or special alarm clocks," says Andrade.

The DMAS used in this study was manufactured by Adherence Technologies.

###

Funding was provided by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Johns Hopkins Hospital General Clinical Research Center and Merck Laboratories.

Other researchers involved in the study were Henraya McGruder, Ph.D.; Albert Wu, M.D., M.P.H.; Shivaun Celano, Pharm.D.; Richard Skolasky Jr., M.A.; Ola Selnes, Ph.D.; I-Chan Huang, Ph.D.; and Justin McArthur, M.B.B.S., M.P.H.

On the web: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/CID/journal/rapid.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "A Friendly Reminder For HIV Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050915001909.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2005, September 15). A Friendly Reminder For HIV Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050915001909.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "A Friendly Reminder For HIV Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050915001909.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins