Specific hypertension smartphone application to improve medication adherence in hypertension: a cluster-randomized trial

Curr Med Res Opin. 2019 Jan;35(1):167-173. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2018.1549026. Epub 2018 Dec 5.


Introduction: Digital interventions, such as smartphone applications (apps), are becoming an increasingly common way to support medication adherence and self-management in chronic illness.Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention in pharmacological therapeutic adherence in mild to moderate arterial hypertension (AHT), through an app installed on a mobile phone, as well as the degree of control reached by the patient with this tool.Methods: Prospective, randomized controlled trial, full study and multicenter study. Four primary care centers participated. One hundred and fifty-four hypertensive patients under antihypertensive treatment were included. Two groups were established: a control group (CG) with usual intervention (n = 77) and an intervention group (n = 77) (IG), targeting hypertensive people who owned and regularly used a mobile smartphone, specifically using the app called AlerHTA to promote health education and reminder of appointments. There were three visits: initial, 6 and 12 months. Drug adherence was measured by electronic monitors (MEMSs). The primary outcomes were average daily percentage adherence between 80 and 100%, and AHT control.Results: A total of 148 patients finished the study. Mean age was 57.5 ± 9.9. Global adherence was 77.02% (CI = 70.25-83.79) and daily adherence was 74.32% (CI = 67.29-81.35%). Daily adherence was 93.15% and 86.3% in IG, and 70.66% and 62.66% in CG after 6 and 12 months respectively (p < .05). The percentage of uncontrolled patients was 28.3% (CI = 21.05-35.55%). The control of high blood pressure at 12 months was 17.8% and 38.6% for IG and CG respectively (p < .05). The number of patients needed to treat to avoid non-adherence (NNT) was 4.23 patients.Conclusions: The intervention with an app installed on the mobile phones of hypertensive patients favors pharmacological therapeutic adherence and improves the percentage of hypertensive patient control.Trial registration: Spanish Agency of Medicine: EPA-SP UN-HTA-2015-01.

Keywords: Hypertension; drug adherence; smartphone app.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Smartphone


  • Antihypertensive Agents