The observational study, “Medication adherence in women with epilepsy who are planning pregnancy,” published in the journal Epilepsia, was led by researchers from the New York University’s Langone Epilepsy Center, together with colleagues from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Irody, which specializes in mobile health technology, used its EpiDiary, a journal app with image guidance, to assess the effectiveness of electronic diaries for tracking medication adherence in these women.
Researchers followed 86 patients from study enrollment, through their pregnancy, and up the birth of their child or, for others, up to 12 months.
Participants used the EpiDiary to track medication use, seizure activity, non-epileptic medication use, menstrual cycles and sexual activity, as well as ongoing self-management and support activities.
Findings showed that 75% of women who used the EpiDiary tracked medication use daily for more than 80% of the study’s time period. These “diary-compliant” women also reported 97.7% medication adherence, and those who tracked both anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) and non-epilepsy medications reported higher adherence rates with AEDs than other medications.
“Poor adherence has been shown to negatively impact health care spending by resulting in more emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and may result in incomplete seizure control … Many times, patients do not report to their doctor about missed medication doses. This information could be used to discuss and improve compliance,” Jacqueline French, MD, a professor at New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and the study’s senior author, said in a press release.
Improved compliance could be partially explained by the daily reminders and real-time feedback provided by the mobile diary, the researchers said.
“The results of this study illustrate how we can use technology to transform clinical care, the patient experience and — ultimately, patient outcomes — in the new value-based health care environment,” Eyal Bartfeld, Irody’s chief executive officer and a study co-author, said.