Poster Presentations


P-12: Electronic Medication Adherence Technologies: Classification to Guide Use in the Older Adults

Maheen Farooqi Bsc.(c) ; Caitlin Carter, HBA, MLIS; *Tejal Patel, PharmD

University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy

Objectives: Technologies available to address medication adherence range from alarms integrated into pill boxes to cloud-based pill dispensers that allow for remote monitoring. This project aimed to systematically find and classify available Electronic Medication Adherence Technologies (EMATs) and to determine how these EMATs would impact adherence in older adults based on specific physical, cognitive and social factors.  

Methods: A Google search was conducted to identify EMATs available to Canadians. A search of PubMed, Embase, IPA and Scopus was also conducted. Each EMAT was classified by reviewing the description online or in discussion with the manufacturer.  A preliminary scale was developed to assess the impact of EMATs on adherence, based on patient specific factors (e.g. physical and cognitive limitations, complexity of medications), impact on caregiver stress, and safety.

Results: 40 of the 344 Google search results were relevant to the project. 80 EMATs were identified and classified as Automatic Pill Dispensers (APDs; n=28), Pill Boxes with Alarms (PBA; n=31), Vibrating Pill Box (VPB; n=3), Electronic Blister Pack (EBP; n=5), Reminder Alarms (RA; n=6), Clock Caps (CC; n=4), or Smart Caps (SC; n=3).  APDs, PBAs, VPBs, EPBs, and CCs were thought to "improve" adherence in older adults with cognitive limitations, "improve" caregiver stress, and "worsen" adherence in persons with physical limitations. SCs would likely "improve" caregiver stress. 

Conclusions: A significant number of EMATs are available to assist older adults with medication adherence. Our comprehensive EMATs list and scale is the first step to enabling clinicians to recommend an EMAT based on patient specific limitations and needs.