Desirability and feasibility of wireless electronic monitoring of medications in clinical trials

William N Robiner, Nancy Flaherty, Thyra A Fossum, Thomas E Nevins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Medication nonadherence is a vexing problem in health care necessitating patients and health professionals’ efforts to prevent, minimize, or reverse it. Research participants’ inconsistent medication taking obscures treatment efficacy and adds costs to biomedical research. Electronic monitoring devices (EMDs), like the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS), have grown in sophistication, providing precise, timely insights into individuals’ medication-taking patterns across clinical populations. This article reports on the desirability and feasibility study of using a wireless EMD in clinical research to promote adherence to clinical regimens and research protocols. Nonadherence in transplant patients has been linked to late acute rejection and graft loss. High levels of adherence (97.7 %) were documented for six renal transplant recipients for a mean of 6 months (M = 196.1 ± 71.2 days) who indicated acceptance of the technology. MEMS data confirmed the feasibility of using wireless EMDs to monitor medication use. Monitoring provides greater assurance that research studies reflect the biological impact of medications and provide a basis for targeting adherence enhancement efforts within research investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-293
Number of pages9
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 17 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Society of Behavioral Medicine.


  • Adherence
  • Clinical trial
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Medication
  • Renal transplant


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