smartphoneAutomated text messages that remind cardiac patients to take their medications may improve the likelihood that patients will take their medication, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting.

Researchers developed an automated text message system to help remind patients to take their medications. They recruited 30 stable cardiac patients who received text message reminders up to four times daily for one month and then didn’t receive any text message reminders during the next month.

They found:

  • All 30 patients improved adherence with text message reminders.
  • Patients were 64 percent less likely to miss taking their medications if they received the text message reminders.

When patients didn’t receive the text message reminders, there were some groups of patients that were more likely than others to miss their medications. These included older patients (average age 65 years), patients with depression and patients with less than a 12th grade education. However, these subgroups showed even greater improvements with the text message reminder intervention than other patients in the study.

This text messaging intervention represents a potentially simple and accessible method for improving medication adherence, researchers said.

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