Grant to Study Adherence to Medication through an Ingestible Sensor System

Posted on: Wednesday, 10/07/2015

Honghu Liu, professor of public health and community dentistry, will act as principal investigator for a one-of-a-kind research project. The new R01 grant, awarded from the National Institute of Mental Health, will run from now until July 31, 2020 and totals $4 million.

The project titled, “Measuring and Monitoring Adherence to ART with Pill Ingestion Sensor System”, will study Information Technology (IT)-based pill ingestible sensor system, which is the most cutting-edge IT approach that has been evolved from Medication Event Monitoring System (MENS) and wireless Wisepill methodologies, for measuring and monitoring adherence to antiretroviral medications among HIV+/AIDS patients.

The team, made up of researchers from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Nebraska Medical Center, Yale University and Harvard University, will use the FDA-approved Proteus Digital Health Feedback (PDHF) system to measure the bioavailability of over-encapsulated antiretrovirals (ARVs) and to test and identify approaches that optimize the use of this measuring and monitoring system.

The system is an exciting new technology that involves a tiny edible, ingestible sensor that is over-encapsulated along with prescribed medication. The sensor, activated by ingestion, is sensed by a patch worn by the patient with an embedded monitor and sensor. The monitor sends a Bluetooth signal to a mobile device, which in turn sends an encrypted message to a central server, thus effecting real-time monitoring that a dose, has been taken.

The team will evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and sustainability of using the PDHF system; assess the accuracy of the PDHF system in measuring adherence to ART; and evaluate the efficacy of the PDHF system for monitoring and leveraging adherence to ART.

This grant is a significant step forward to help measure and monitor medication adherence in HIV+/AIDS patients and more importantly, develop real-time interventions in a population that requires heightened medical surveillance.