In cooperation with AMC it’s being researched if teenagers are more therapy adherent with the help of Emma. This month thirty teenagers that have to take HIV medication every day will be receiving the devices. The trial, that’s part of the METT-project (Met Emma Therapie Trouwer – With Emma More Therapy Adherent) will take 12 months. If the trial is successful, more trials to improve therapy adherence of teenagers with a chronic disease could be started.
Therapy adherence is more important than ever, especially after infection with HIV. If the pills aren’t taken regularly, there’s a chance that the body will become resistant to the medication. Therapy adherence is difficult in children, because they are developing independence in this period. A lot of teenagers rebel against everything and everyone at that age and sometimes against taking their medication as well.
The participating teenagers will receive a Pebble smartwatch that’s connected to the mobile phone. When the pill has to be taken, the watch will vibrate. The special thing is that the patient can connect one or more persons (“buddies”) to the watch. If the pills aren’t taken or if the teenager isn’t motivated, that person, parent or friend, can contact them. The data about the medication intake is also sent to the health practitioner in the AMC.
“You give the children a fun way to be more autonomous in taking their medication. And us doctors get a better insight into the medication intake of the patient,” says child health practitioner Dasja Pajkrt of the AMC.
The project has been made possible by subsidy of the Aids foundation and Health Holland of the ministry of Economy in the Netherlands.