Northeastern University Researcher's Web-based Tools to Improve Patient Medication Adherence

March 13, 2008

Company Grant to Fund Development of Cutting-edge Technology

One of the most prevalent challenges of delivering health services effectively is the patients’ non-adherence to the medications, which leads to gaps in service delivery and results in negative health outcomes. A cutting-edge way to improve this behavior is a patient-centered Web-based interactive tool that assesses, monitors, and intervenes specifically on medication adherence. Northeastern University’s Pharmacy Practice professor Nathaniel M. Rickles has received a grant from Innovation Group, a global solutions provider for the insurance industry, to develop adherence management tools for ensuing Web-based and call-center applications.

“Clinical experience and medical literature show that only about half of patients taking chronic medications adhere to their prescribed regimen,” said Rickles, Pharm.D., Ph.D., BCPP, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences. “We believe that an effective way to combat this growing problem is developing effective, easy-to-use Web-based tools that help patients adhere to their medication regimen. This generous grant will enable us to create one such system and we are very excited about the opportunity.”

Rickles’ proposed project will eventually be accessible to the larger public and use a tailored, stepwise approach to actively intervene on patient medication non-adherence. The Web-based tools will be based on social, behavioral, and clinical principles shown to be effective in changing patient medication use behavior.

Following the development of an adherence screening tool, follow-up monitoring tools, and protocols for patient-centered, tailored adherence interventions, the project will continue with focus groups of consumers and health professionals who will help further shape the tools and protocols created so they are most ideal for various users of the system.  As part of the project, Rickles and his team also plan to develop instruments to assess patient satisfaction and other outcomes of using the web-based system.

Sean Teare, President of InnovationRx (a subgroup of Innovation Group), says he “expects the grant will lead to promising patient-centered tools that improve patient access to important strategies to improve their medication adherence and ultimately reduce the high healthcare costs associated with medication non-adherence.”

For more information, please contact Renata Nyul at 617-373-7424 or at r.nyul@neu.edu.

About Northeastern

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston.  Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world.  The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions.  For more information, please visit www.northeastern.edu.

For more information, please contact Renata Nyul at 617-373-7424 or at r.nyul@neu.edu.

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