This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.

Original Research

Optimization of a Digital Medicine System in Psychiatry

Shashank Rohatagi, PhD, MBA; Deborah Profit, PhD; Ainslie Hatch, DClinPsych, PhD; Cathy Zhao, PhD; John P. Docherty, MD; and Timothy S. Peters-Strickland, MD

Published: September 28, 2016

Article Abstract

Background: Nonadherence to medication compromises the effectiveness of psychiatric treatments in patients with serious mental illness (SMI). A newly developed digital medicine system (DMS) offers an opportunity to objectively assess and report patient medication adherence. DMS includes a wearable sensor that receives a data signal from a medication tablet with an embedded ingestible sensor after ingestion of the medication and transmits that data to the patient’s mobile device to display health care information for the patient and treatment team.

Methods/Results: Development of a DMS requires a program that investigates safety, tolerability, and usability of the system in patients with SMI. It necessitates rapid design adaptation of the individual components and the integrated system and human factors studies with the intended users. This article describes the program’s methodology and shows results from 3 early studies, conducted in 2013 and 2014, to illustrate diversity of the programs’ methodology. First, a standard 28-day study showed minimal skin irritation and demonstrated acceptable wearability of the wearable sensor. Second, a 16-week study provided usability feedback from patients with SMI and caregivers to improve the mobile application. Third, end-to-end bench-level integrated system testing led to multiple substudies of a master protocol ( identifier: NCT02091882) to investigate various aspects of the system (eg, ingestible sensor detection and latency).

Conclusions: To develop a DMS in psychiatry, the system’s multiple components must be considered simultaneously using various methodologies. A focus on usability, along with agile evaluation and feedback across studies, provides an optimal strategy for ensuring patient acceptance and successful regulatory review.

Volume: 77

Quick Links: