Feasibility of Real Time Medication Monitoring Among HIV Infected and TB Patients in a Resource-Limited Setting

I. Marion de Sumari-de Boer , Jossy van den Boogaard, Kennedy M. Ngowi, Hadija H. Semvua, Krisanta W. Kiwango, Rob E. Aarnoutse, Pythia T. Nieuwkerk, Gibson S. Kibiki
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HIV infected and tuberculosis (TB) patients need high levels of treatment adherence to achieve optimal treatment outcomes. We conducted a pilot-study on real time medication monitoring (RTMM) in a resource-limited setting. We enrolled five HIV infected and five TB patients from Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. They took their medication using RTMM. When the device was not opened on time, patients received a reminder SMS. After 3 months, we interviewed patients. Six patients (60 %) reached adherence of >95 %. Nine-hundred-twenty-two of 1104 intakes (84 %) were on time. Five-hundred reminders (45 %) were sent, of which 202 (40 %) were incorrect, because of an unstable mobile network. Nine patients found the device helpful and nine mentioned it keeps medication safe. Six patients reported that the size was too big. Five patients mentioned they received incorrect reminders. The device is considered useful in Kilimanjaro. Optimization of the device should consider network connectivity and the size of the device.