Mobile app helps manage medication adherence for Parkinson’s

As with many chronic diseases, a big part of Parkinson’s disease management is tracking and managing symptoms through medication adherence. A new mobile app is showing the potential of digital technology to improve patient engagement, track medication compliance.

A British National Health Service study asked 215 people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to use the Parkinson’s Tracker App, a smartphone-based app developed by uMotif, for 16 weeks to record their medication doses and compliance. Having a quick, easy way to self-report data “significantly improved adherence, compared to treatment as usual,” the study authors found.

In the later stages of Parkinson’s, patients can be taking several different drugs multiple times per day. “The complexity of treatment along with PD affecting cognitive processes such as sorting or planning tasks might explain why the [app] helped in improving adherence as medication reminders and symptom tracking were core features.”

The trial participants liked using the app: Nearly three-quarters of them stayed engaged with the app for the entire 16-week study period. In addition, using the app significantly improved the participants’  perceptions of a quality clinician consultation.

The app also helped clinicians fill in the gaps in between clinical visits, the study showed. “Clinicians have limited face-to-face consultation time with PD patients, making it difficult to comprehensively address non-adherence,” the study authors wrote.

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