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 Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>