Researchers at the National Center for Tuberculosis Control and Prevention, China, sought to discover whether new technologies can improve medicines adherence in tuberculosis (TB) patients.
TB patients from 36 Chinese districts were randomised to receive a text reminder (n=1,008), to use a medication monitor box (n=997) — which records when it is opened and gives reminders to take medication — or to use both methods (n=1,064). A control group received no reminder support (n=1,104).
Researchers found that at least 20% of doses were missed by 29.9% of patients in the control group, compared with 27.3% in the text-only group, 17% in the medication monitor group and 13.9% in the combined group.
The results, published in PLOS Medicine (online, 15 September 2015)
, show that medication monitors boost medication adherence in TB patients while text messaging makes little difference, the authors say.
 Liu X, Lewis JJ, Zhang H et al. Effectiveness of electronic reminders to improve medication adherence in tuberculosis patients: a cluster-randomised trial. PLoS Med 2015;12(9):e1001876. doi:10.1371/journal. pmed.1001876.