Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A friendly reminder for HIV patients

13.09.2005


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-naïve 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.

David March | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht ASU scientists develop new, rapid pipeline for antimicrobials
14.12.2017 | Arizona State University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>