In a study from Johns Hopkins, a pocket-size device giving electronic-voice reminders to “take your medicine” proves to be a success for people living with HIV, whose memory is slightly impaired by the virus.
The device, dubbed “Jerry” by most users, is a portable medgadget programmed to ease the task of taking medicines in multiple doses every day on time. HIV-infected patients, particularly those suffering from mild memory loss related to the disease, benefit highly from Jerry’s friendly reminders, according to a study published in the September 15th issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Like an alarm clock, Jerry, more properly known as Disease Management Assistance System (DMAS), flashes a light and verbally tells the patient the exact dosage and medication to take at the correct time. DMAS is rechargeable and weighs about as much as a cell phone. Its computer programming keeps track of the patient’s compliance, allowing the doctor to download and print a report for monitoring the patient’s adherence to the medication schedule.
“One of the biggest reasons HIV patients cite for not taking their medication is just plain forgetfulness,” says Adriana Andrade, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University Division of Infectious Diseases. “We thought a verbal reminder would be the best possible solution.”
On average, HIV-infected, treatment-naive patients today take roughly two pills once a day, a significant decrease from a few years ago, when patients had to juggle dozens of medications per week,” says Andrade. “But with all the regimens, patients must adhere to their medication faithfully because the virus easily develops a resistance, more so than most infectious diseases.”
HIV can cause brain damage, making it more difficult for some patients to remember their HAART regimen, which is often different for every patient.
Read the abstract of this study…