Electronic Reminders, Texts Could Help Boost Medication Adherence

Sending text messages and other electronic reminders might improve medication adherence in the short term, but the long-term effectiveness of the strategy remains unclear, according to a review published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, CMIO reports.

About the Review

For the review, researchers from the Netherlands analyzed 13 studies that evaluated the effectiveness of medication reminders delivered through:

  • Text messages;
  • Electronic reminder devices; and
  • Pagers (Byers, CMIO, 5/1).

Review Findings

The researchers found that in all but two of the studies, the electronic reminders contributed to a "significant improvement" in medication adherence over a short time span of six months or less. They noted that the long-term effectiveness of electronic medication reminders was unclear (Durben Hirsch, FierceHealthIT, 4/30).

The researchers wrote that text messages and other electronic reminders "appear to be easily integrated into patients' lives. As such, this seems to be a simple intervention for both patient and professional for enhancing medication adherence" (CMIO, 5/1).

The study authors also called for further research to examine how often electronic medication reminders should be sent (FierceHealthIT, 4/30).

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