Technological aids supporting medication management for chronically ill patients are proliferating, offered in electronic telehealth devices. Pill organizers, reminders, monitors, and usage communicators have enabled an array of home health aids to support users and caregivers in pill management and monitoring. Beyond bulk pills, additional medication forms, such as topicals, are gaining popularity in unique drug delivery systems. However, topical medications have limited electronic monitoring means for promoting and tracking adherence even though the consequences of nonadherence are just as alarming as with oral meds. For example, glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, yet patient compliance with topical medication regimens is suboptimal at best. Ophthalmic drug adherence is daunting due to several unique barriers: 1) complexity-- the application of eye drops can be highly complicated involving multiple drugs taken several times daily, 2) administration-- visually impaired patients often cannot correctly identify medication and read labels, 3) lability-- many drugs react adversely to extreme conditions, and 4) lack of patient options-- no multi-drug container exists with feature-rich reminding, monitoring, and intervention functions. Moreover, a primary barrier to administration of eye drops is the problematic issue of actually administering drops properly. This project will leverage our world-class medication adherence system and our team's exceptional skill sets and experience in developing an ophthalmic medication dispensing system that will instruct, remind, monitor, communicate, and report in a highly affordable, practical, and user-sensitive model. It includes a drop dispensing device that assures only one drop is properly applied to the eye in sterile, safe, and correct application with infrared monitoring.
A critical public health concern is mismanagement of medications, which all-too-often exacerbates diseases and multiplies comorbidities. It is part of NIH's mission to promote innovation in combating diseases. We propose a novel, multi-drug medication reminder/monitor system that serves to improve adherence to drugs in liquid and ointment form for which there is no technological aid currently.