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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 47-49

Digital medicine and information and communication technology innovations: Use case of adherence in health services

National Center for Scientific Research, “Demokritos,” Athens, Greece

Date of Web Publication18-Sep-2017

Correspondence Address:
Homer Papadopoulos
National Center for Scientific Research, “Demokritos,” Athens
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/digm.digm_18_17

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Senior Scientific Researcher at National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos” and Co-Founder of the Spin Of company Syndesis Ltd, AgiaParaskevi, Athens, GREECE. Dr. Homer Papadopoulos holds a Physics degree and a Pre PhD on Telecommunications from the University of Athens and a Bio-design Graduate Certificate from Stanford University US. He has an MBA at Warwick University and he holds a PhD from IS/IT Department of Bath University UK. Dr. Papadopoulos is working for NCSR “Demokritos” www.demokritos.gr, in the Division of Applied Technologies and in the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications, for almost two decades managing various European funded Research programs within the fields of e-services, mobile services and technologies and broadband telecommunication networks. Dr. Papadopoulos' research interests concern the domains of medical informatics, human computer interfaces for the ageing population, Internet of Things platforms and ontologies, wearable technologies, web services, machine learning and Big data platforms, ehealth and unobtrusive monitoring services. A web based integrated platform (www.iwelli.com) which enables ehealth, mhealth and IoT services in parallel with intelligent algorithms to provide Decision Support Services to Professionals has been developed and is under pilot validation within real settings. Dr. Papadopoulos has a track record of success in income generation from EU and National funded projects, while he acting as the principal investigator and coordinator in EU R&D funded projects like the www.usefil.eu project. He has published several papers in journals and international conferences. He is coordinating the European Innovation Partnership on Active Healthy Ageing, (supported by the European Union) Synergy group and A1 group for ICT technologies in Adherence in polypharmacy and medical plans. He is Co-founder of the NCSR “Demokritos” spin off company Syndesis LTD. Syndesis (www.sydnesis.eu) intends to apply the research results and develops ehealth/assistive living state of the art technologies and applications. Dr. Papadopoulos is also an expert at the World Health Organization (WHO) Public Health Emergency Operations Centre Network (EOC-NET).

How to cite this article:
Papadopoulos H. Digital medicine and information and communication technology innovations: Use case of adherence in health services. Digit Med 2017;3:47-9

How to cite this URL:
Papadopoulos H. Digital medicine and information and communication technology innovations: Use case of adherence in health services. Digit Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Jun 8];3:47-9. Available from: http://www.digitmedicine.com/text.asp?2017/3/2/47/215027

The effect of ageing population, coupled with the increasing number of citizens with chronic and epidemic diseases, poses a great challenge for both the well-being of the citizens and the healthcare institutions. The incorporation into the healthcare models of the “smart” information and communications technology (ICT) could address the pressing issues of costs of care, aging and growing populations, and the emergence of worldwide epidemic conditions such as multimorbidity, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), automation, microtechnologies, and robotics create an ICT ecosystem for medical and healthcare application that can reform healthcare systems providing consistent, sustainable, high-quality, and cost-efficient healthcare. The rapid proliferation of innovative smart devices (Wearables, smart microsensors, IoT, and smart health applications) is further increasing exponentially, generating big datasets related to human activities, health status, and different behavioral patterns through remote monitoring. Predictive analytics, clinical analytics, decision support solutions, and cloud technology can help in analyzing this unprecedented amount of data identifying meaningful, actionable information for both patients and professionals and revolutionizing healthcare, disease management, and early disease detection.

Today citizens can use web-based platforms to collect, digitize and analyse their health data, while care professionals can use these platforms to provide affordable, quality, and sustainable healthcare services to their patients. Challenges arise from such advancements and concern mainly patient confidentiality, cyber security, and data governance.

Although medical/healthcare ICT provides a new paradigm to innovative integration between medicine and engineering, reliable medical services in a dependable society where citizens will be empowered to take ownership of their health, which is critical to the management, prevention, and delay of the progression of chronic diseases, still have not been widely realized.

Adherence to medical plans and polypharmacy is a revealing use case where the technological applications that have been developed to serve the practical needs of patients; still, provide no clear evidence that can effectively monitor and influence adherence behavior.

Following the above need, the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on active and healthy ageing (AHA),[1] originally set up by European Commission, decided to study the role of the ICT in the adherence of patients to medical plans and polypharmacy. A clear reflection of this decision is the foundation of the A1 Synergy and G04-A1 group within the action group A1.[2] These groups intend to study the problems that limit the effectiveness of advanced information technologies in increasing adherence to treatment of older age adults with multiple chronic diseases and long-term therapies and appropriate polypharmacy, and provide an overview of how.

The questions in A1 Synergy and G04-A1 group study concern the relation of ICT and adherence, which are broad and involve a complex body of literature. Systematic reviews to approach this study are not appropriate. The most appropriate method appears to be scoping studies. Scoping studies are an increasingly popular approach to review and address broad questions on a topic since the scoping study methodology can be used to characterize and catalog an extensive body of literature. Thus, a scoping study has been initiated[3] to review a relevant number of ICT tools, best practices, and available literature to assess whether ICT-based applications that support monitoring of behavior, training, patient empowerment, and social interactions can change behavior and increase adherence of older age adults to treatment.

The study is a working document within the realm of the EIP on AHA group, and its model which will be used to catalog and analyze the technologies is based on previous work conducted within the same group. The model we use exploits the review of the most frequent interventions employed to increase the degree of medication adherence published by Costa et al.,[4] which concern behavioral, educational, integrated care, self-management and risk-management intervention together with packaging and daily reminders.

We expand this model with extra four categories which will help us better construct the taxonomy of the technologies for adherence to medical plans and polypharmacy. These categories include the heterogeneous “data sources”, the “enabling technologies”, the “beyond state of the art technologies” and the “drawbacks and the challenges” these technologies have to address to be widely diffused. This is illustrated in the taxonomy model presented in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Taxonomy model for technologies for adherence to medical plans and polypharmacy

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The taxonomy of the enabling and beyond state of the art technologies that could efficiently increase adherence in medical plans and polypharmacy and the examples and analysis of the identified best practices is a working document and will be published within the realm of the EIP on AHA activities.

This scoping study seems to show that actually creating and building widely adopted ICT services for adherence is a task that may undertake more years and significant human resources to succeed. Relying solely on mobile applications, monitoring sensors and data analytics to manage adherence and behavior of elderly people with multi-morbidities and chronic diseases may not be the proper approach to create useful services.

Integrated care services where all stakeholders (patients, pharmacists, social network, doctors, health and social care institutes, public bodies, and insurance companies) will be actively involved maybe a costly but the only efficient approach to success. The role of the ICT infrastructures, the web-based management platforms to connect and analyze health data and enable collaboration with patients, the electronic health records, the interoperable applications, and the information coming from big data analytics are simply to support this integrated approach.

  References Top

Available from: https://www.ec.europa.eu/eip/ageing. [Last accessed on 2017 Jul 01].  Back to cited text no. 1
Costa E, Giardini A, Savin M, Menditto E, Lehane E, Laosa O, et al. Interventional tools to improve medication adherence: Review of literature. Patient Prefer Adherence 2015;9:1303-14.  Back to cited text no. 4


  [Figure 1]


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