Smart-phone apps have been proven to help coronary heart disease sufferers in remembering to take their medication, according to a study released on Monday by Australia's Sydney University (SU), Xinhua reported.
While medication reminder apps have long been available, this is the first study which proves their efficacy in helping patients with often extensive pill prescriptions to remember to dose.
"Patients with coronary heart disease can become overwhelmed with the amount of pills they are taking as they are often prescribed up to four different types of medication, which need to be taken sometimes up to three times a day," senior author Julie Redfern from SU's Westmead Applied Research Centre said.
A randomized clinical trial followed 160, mostly men, over a three month period comparing those with and without medication apps, showing clearly that the technology works.
Also, researchers found that there was no benefit between using basic reminder apps and those with more advanced features such as a snooze button or even those with in built social support structures like alerting friends or family to a missed dose.
"It's exciting that a basic app some of which can be accessed for free - could help improve people's medication use and prevent further cardiovascular complications," lead author Dr Karla Santo from SU said.
The team now plan to widen the scope of their research to focus on longer time periods and a broader variety of illnesses.
"Participants in our trial were followed up after three months but longer term and larger studies are more likely to be able to show benefits or challenges of app usage, as well as the impact on additional measures such as blood pressure and cholesterol," Santo said.
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