Friday February 21, 2020

Smartphones Can Also Help Patients to Take Medicines on Time: Research

This study tested the impact of a smartphone application on medication compliance

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Smartphone
Researchers have found that a simple Smartphone apps can be a cost effective way of helping these patients take their medicines for the period prescribed. Pixabay

The smartphones are now frequently blamed for a lot of health problems, but it appears that the device may also have a positive impact on heart patients.

Researchers have found that a simple app can be a cost effective way of helping these patients take their medicines for the period prescribed, thereby reducing risk of premature death.

Following a heart attack, patients are prescribed medications to prevent another event.

However, one in four patients discontinue at least one drug in the first 30 days after discharge from hospital.

This leads to poor symptom control and an increased likelihood of rehospitalisation and premature death. There is currently no simple and cost-effective strategy to improve adherence.

The study presented at the 45th Argentine Congress of Cardiology (SAC 2019) held in Buenos Aires showed that heart patients using a smartphone app reminder are more likely to take their medication than those who receive written instructions.

Smartphone
For those assigned to the Smartphone group, the prescribed medication schedule was uploaded to the digital application, and an alarm would ring each time a pill should be taken. Pixabay

“We hypothesised that the app would increase adherence by 30 per cent, but the impact was even greater,” said study author Cristian M. Garmendia, of the Cardiovascular Institute of Buenos Aires.

“Patients using the app were alerted to take their pills. They also had better knowledge about why they had been prescribed each medication and could check compliance with their doctor.”

This study tested the impact of a smartphone application on medication compliance. A total of 90 heart attack patients admitted to hospital were randomly allocated to the app or detailed written information (standard care).

Adherence to medical treatment was measured at 90 days using the Morisky Medical Adherence Scale (MMAS-8).

Smartphones
The smartphones are now frequently blamed for a lot of health problems, but it appears that the device may also have a positive impact on heart patients. Pixabay

For those assigned to the smartphone group, the prescribed medication schedule was uploaded to the digital application, and an alarm would ring each time a pill should be taken.

After taking the pills, patients confirmed it in the application. Doctors could check daily adherence using a professional digital platform linked to the patient’s smartphone.

The average age of patients in the study was 63 years.

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At 90 days, significantly more patients in the digital application group were correctly taking their pills (65 per cent) compared to those who received standard care (21 per cent), said the study. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s Why Too Short, Long Sleep Can Lead To Incurable Lung Disease

The researchers then showed, that pulmonary fibrosis is associated with short and long sleep duration using human data from the UK Biobank

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Sleep
Our internal body clocks regulate nearly every cell in the human body, driving 24-hour cycles in many processes such as sleeping, hormone secretion and metabolism. Pixabay

People who regularly sleep for more than 11 hours or less than four hours are 2-3 times more likely to have the incurable lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, compared to those that sleep for seven hours in a day, researchers have found.

They attribute this association to the body clock.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also reveals that targeting the body clock reduces fibrosis in vitro, revealing a potential target for this incurable disease that kills about 5,000 people, a year in the UK,the same number as leukaemia.

“Pulmonary fibrosis is a devastating condition which is incurable at present. Therefore, the discovery that the body clock is potentially a key player potentially opens new ways to treat or prevent the condition,” said study lead author John Blaikley from The University of Manchester in UK.

“More work need to be done around studying the association between pulmonary fibrosis and sleep duration to establish both causation and reproducibility,” Blaikley said. “If these results are confirmed, then sleeping for the optimal time may reduce the impact of this devastating disease,” he added.

Our internal body clocks regulate nearly every cell in the human body, driving 24-hour cycles in many processes such as sleeping, hormone secretion and metabolism. In the lungs, the clock is mainly located in the main air carrying passages – the airways.

However, the team discovered that in people with lung fibrosis, these clock oscillations extend out to the small air spaces, called alveoli. Studies in mice revealed that by altering the clock mechanism it was possible to disrupt the fibrotic process making the animals more likely to develop pulmonary fibrosis.

The researchers then showed, that pulmonary fibrosis is associated with short and long sleep duration using human data from the UK Biobank.

The link between sleep duration and lung fibrosis is similar in strength to other known risk factors for this disease. People who report they regularly sleep four hours or less in a day doubled their chance of having pulmonary fibrosis while those sleeping 11 hours or longer in a day tripled their chance of having the disease, compared to those sleeping seven hours per day.

Lungs
People who regularly sleep for more than 11 hours or less than four hours are 2-3 times more likely to have the incurable lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, compared to those that sleep for seven hours in a day, researchers have found. Pixabay

Smaller, but still elevated, risks were also seen in people who like to stay up late at night or those who do shift work. The researchers explain their findings by the discovery that a core clock protein (REVERBa) which alters the production of a key protein in lung fibrosis (collagen). This is an exciting finding, because chemical compounds can alter the function of REVERBa, said the researchers.

The researchers were able to show that one of these REVERBa compounds can reduce collagen in lung slices from people with this disease.

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The discovery that the clock plays a role in fibrosis suggests that altering these oscillations could become an important therapeutic approach, the research said. (IANS)