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The efficacy of a novel smart watch on medicine adherence and symptom control of allergic rhinitis patients: Pilot study



Background:

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common allergic airway disorder that is often poorly managed. There is an urgent need to enhance medication adherence in order to improve treatment outcomes in patients with AR. The efficacy of wearable smart watches in improving medication adherence is currently unclear.


Objectives:

This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a novel smart watch in improving medication adherence and symptom control in patients with AR. The reliability of self-reported medication use was also investigated.


Methods:

This randomized, open-label, parallel controlled, pilot study enrolled adult patients with AR caused by cypress pollen. Patients were randomized in a 1:2 ratio to an intervention group and control group. Smart watches were only distributed to patients in the intervention group. During the cypress pollen season, all patients were required to take oral antihistamines daily and use nasal corticosteroids and antihistamine eye drops as needed. Daily AR symptom scores and medication usage were recorded in both groups. The smart watch was able to identify medication-taking behaviors of patients via artificial intelligence (AI) and relay this information to physicians, who sent short message service reminders to patients who forgot to take oral antihistamines for more than 2 days.


Results:

During the pollen season, the adherence rate to oral antihistamines in the intervention group (n = 17) was significantly higher than that in the control group (n = 38) (63.3% ± 28.5% versus 43.2% ± 30.2%, P = 0.02). The daily symptom score of the intervention group was lower than that of the control group (2.4 ± 1.1 versus 3.9 ± 1.0, P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the on-demand medication score between the 2 groups (1.3 ± 0.4 versus 1.5 ± 0.5, P = 0.13). The consistency rate between self-reported nasal corticosteroid usage and the gold standard (ie, human observation of medication usage in the videos recorded by the smart watch) was 20.0% (0%, 53.7%), and the consistency rate between self-reported antihistamine eye drop usage and the gold standard was 24.3% (2.1%, 67.1%).


Conclusions:

This pilot study showed that the application of smart watches in patients with AR was associated with improved medication adherence and symptom control. Furthermore, the reliability of self-reported medication usage was limited.


Keywords:

Allergic rhinitis; Medication adherence; Self-report; Smart devices; Treatment outcome.



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