User profiles of a smartphone application to support drug adherence--experiences from the iNephro project

PLoS One. 2013 Oct 23;8(10):e78547. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078547. eCollection 2013.

Abstract

Purpose: One of the key problems in the drug therapy of patients with chronic conditions is drug adherence. In 2010 the initiative iNephro was launched (www.inephro.de). A software to support regular and correct drug intake was developed for a smartphone platform (iOS). The study investigated whether and how smartphone users deployed such an application.

Methods: Together with cooperating partners the mobile application "Medikamentenplan" ("Medication Plan") was developed. Users are able to keep and alter a list of their regular medication. A memory function supports regular intake. The application can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store™ by Apple™. After individual consent of users from December 2010 to April 2012 2042338 actions were recorded and analysed from the downloaded applications. Demographic data were collected from 2279 users with a questionnaire.

Results: Overall the application was used by 11688 smartphone users. 29% (3406/11688) used it at least once a week for at least four weeks. 27% (3209/11688) used the application for at least 84 days. 68% (1554/2279) of users surveyed were male, the stated age of all users was between 6-87 years (mean 44). 74% of individuals (1697) declared to be suffering from cardiovascular disease, 13% (292) had a previous history of transplantation, 9% (205) were suffering from cancer, 7% (168) reported an impaired renal function and 7% (161) suffered from diabetes mellitus. 69% (1568) of users were on <6 different medications, 9% (201) on 6 - 10 and 1% (26) on more than 10.

Conclusion: A new smartphone application, which supports drug adherence, was used regularly by chronically ill users with a wide range of diseases over a longer period of time. The majority of users so far were middle-aged and male.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Chronic Disease / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Mobile Applications / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • User-Computer Interface

Grant support

The iNephro project was financed by an unrestricted grant from Roche Pharma, Grenzach-Wyhlen, Germany (http://www.roche.de/). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.