Medication Management Technology for Dementia

Written By: Richard Caro.  Last Updated: Nov 14 2019 - 4:53pm.

medication management technology for alzheimers

 

Dr. Mindy Renfro and Dr. Richard Caro gave a joint talk on "Medication Management Technology in Alzheimer's Disease" at the 2016 American Society on Aging meeting (March 22, 2016).

Below is a video of the talks.

 

Overview

The talk is in two parts. In the first part, Dr. Mindy Renfro discusses the clinical aspects of medication management and the problems that arise in managing medication at home for patients with dementia. She talks about Assistive Technology, the stages of Alzheimer's, and the various aspects of medication management that can cause problems.

In the second part, Dr. Caro talks about various existing technology solutions to some aspects of medication management, and identifies some areas of "opportunity". These areas of "opportunity" represent problems to do with medication management that lend themselves to a technical solution,  for which as yet a good product has not been created.

Throughout the talks, the emphasis is on medication management technology for dementia patients. For a broader discussion of medication management in general, including pill reminders, pill organizers, pill boxes, and complex medication management systems and pill dispensers, see our Medication Management Topic Hub.

 

Play the two videos below to listen to the talks and see the slides.

 

I: Medication Management & Dementia, by Dr. Renfro

 

Medication Management Challenges Impact Ability to Live Independently

One of the striking aspects of Dr. Renfro's talk, was a slide in which she showed the six major reasons why people end up having to move into some type of institutional care (assisted living for example). Challenges with managing medicine and adhering to the right drug regimen was one of the six major reasons preventing people from continuing to live independently, according to Dr. Renfro's analysis of the research literature.

In Dr. Caro's talk, he built on this point, and explained how there are emerging technological solutions to most of these six factors, and went on to talk about potential ways in which technology could be applied to pill management routines for dementia patients in ways that could potentially reduce the level of hands-on care they need — potentially postponing the time at which they need to leave home.

 

 

II: Medication Management: Technology Opportunities,  by Dr. Caro

 

Unmet Needs in Medication Management

In this talk, Dr. Caro describes a chain of important medication management tasks, and discusses technology that exists for each portion of this chain. He also describes the potential for new products and talks about the profound impact these could make if successful.

The sections of this talk include:

  • Making sure the older adult gets the "right" prescriptions in the first place;
  • Making sure the "right" prescriptions make it home;
  • Getting the prescriptions filled correctly at the right time;
  • Motivating the person to want to take the correct medication at the correct time;
  • Reducing physical and mental obstacles to medication adherence; and
  • The importance of some type of feedback loop to reinforce the desired adherence.

 

Want More Like This?

 

Visit our Medication Management Topic Hub.

 

Related Tech-enhanced Life Research and Explorations

 

Medication Management Systems

For an in depth overview of the different types of medication management systems, ranging from simple pill organizers to complicated automatic pill dispensers read:

 

Pill Reminders

If you are looking for a good way to be reminded when it is time to take your pills or other medication, read:

 

Need a Pill Box or Pill Organizer?

See which Pill Boxes and Organizers our Longevity Explorers recommend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Key words: 
Medication Management Technology