Supporting Blind and Visually Impaired Persons in Managing Their Medication

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2019 Sep 3:267:189-196. doi: 10.3233/SHTI190826.

Abstract

Various reasons lead to non-adherence to drug therapy, such as forgotten reordering of medications or wrong intake behavior. Blind and visually impaired persons face additional challenges, such as recognizing the medication package or reading the package insert which additionally impacts on patient safety. To address these challenges, we developed a concept for supporting medication management. In the center of the concept is the mobile application MyPills. It reminds on drug intake and reordering. These functionalities are made available to blind and visually impaired persons using screen reader functionalities. The current medication is entered into MyPills using the eMediplan, a Swiss national exchange format for eMedication. Beyond, package inserts are made accessible through voice output. MyPills supports in scanning the global trade item number (GTIN) for medication package identification. A usability tests carried out with six participants including two blind persons showed that users get along well with the app and the functionalities are helpful. In future studies with patients, it should be checked whether the MyPills app can improve compliance with drug therapy and impacts on intake behavior.

Keywords: Medication management; accessibility; mHealth; medication adherence; mobile apps.

MeSH terms

  • Blindness*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Visually Impaired Persons*