COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Electronic monitoring of the use of glaucoma medications improves patients’ awareness of their adherence to medical therapy, allows discussion with physicians on how to improve treatment outcomes and, eventually, makes overall compliance better, according to a specialist.
“At the universities of Cologne (Germany) and Dijon (France), we have been using a small technological device that is fixed on the bottle where medications are contained and works both as an electronic reminder and as a data-storing device for monitoring medication use,” Michael Diestelhorst, MD, said at the European Glaucoma Society meeting.
The data are processed by special software at the physician’s office and transferred onto charts so the physician and the patient can see the plot graph representing the points in time when the medications were used.
“We could see from our patients’ charts, although they were aware to be monitored, that ‘drug holidays’ occur more often than not, also with monotherapy,” Diestelhorst said. “At 1 year we could see that approximately 20% of the patients had a mean dose adherence of less than 40%.”
However, the adherence rate was shown to improve from 75% to 98% thanks to electronic reminders in a group of patients. Also, seeing a monthly documentation of their compliance encouraged patients to take their medications more regularly and was more persuasive than the threat of potential blindness, Diestelhorst said.
- Disclosure: Diestelhorst has no relevant financial disclosures.