There is a paucity of research into the role of community pharmacists in Connected Health and large scale trials have had little or no involvement from pharmacists. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of delivering a Connected Health intervention through community pharmacies to patients with hypertension and to determine its effect on adherence to antihypertensive medications and blood pressure control. After ethical approval was obtained, four community pharmacies (A-D) recruited hypertensive
patients who had been regular users of their pharmacy for at least a year and had been taking at least two antihypertensives for at least six months prior to the study. All patients find more were sent medication
reminders to a mobile phone as either a text message (programmed using Google Calendar) or a video message (programmed using Mobile Phone-based Video Streaming software developed by the Computer Science Research Institute at University of Ulster Jordanstown). Each patient measured their blood pressure and confirmed they had taken their medication daily using a laptop at home. These readings were transmitted via the internet to a monitoring website (DGHome Event Manager, I+, Italy) through which the community pharmacist could view transmitted readings. If the patients failed to transmit a reading or a blood pressure reading fell outside pre-defined parameters, the community pharmacist would follow an algorithm to determine Decitabine how to proceed. Blood pressure and adherence scores (using the Medication Adherence Report Scale2) were compared before and after the intervention.
RGFP966 purchase In total, 11 patients were recruited (4 at Pharmacy A, 4 at Pharmacy B, 2 at Pharmacy C and 1 at Pharmacy D). An additional two patients withdrew soon after commencing. To date, 9 patients have completed the study period (the remaining two have still to attend a final meeting with their community pharmacist). Preliminary findings from those who have completed demonstrate that, on average, 83 blood pressure readings and 53 confirmations of adherence were transmitted by each patient during the study period. There was no significant difference in blood pressure (139/87 mmHg vs. 144/83 mmHg) or adherence scores (94.8% vs. 94.4%) before and after the intervention. One focus group consisting of three patients has taken place. Participants responded positively to the involvement of their community pharmacist in Connected Health but with recommendations for improvements such as reduced frequency of blood pressure measurement and improved internet connection. Interviews with three participating community pharmacists have taken place, with recommendations for improvements including less time commitment for patients, overcoming issues with the technology and less recruitment criteria.