Digital Health Mental Illness My Papers

Are caregivers ready for digital?

That is the title of a paper published today with my co-authors Felicia Forma, Kevin Chiu, Jason Shafrin, Dusica Hadzi Boskovic, and S Phani Veeranki. The subtitle is: Caregiver preferences for health technology tools to monitor medication adherence among patients with serious mental illness. The paper abstract is below:


Adherence to antipsychotic medication is critical for bipolar disorder (BPD), major depression (MDD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) patients. Digital tools have emerged to monitor medication adherence along with tracking general health. Evidence on physician or patient preferences for such tools exists but is limited among caregivers. The study objective was to assess preferences and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for medication adherence monitoring tools among caregivers of SMI patients.


A web-based survey was administered to caregivers of adult SMI patients. Twelve discrete choice questions comparing adherence monitoring tools that varied across two attribute bundles: (1) tool attributes including source of medication adherence information, frequency of information updates, access to adherence information, and physical activity, mood, and rest tracking, and (2) caregiver monthly out-of-pocket cost attribute were administered to caregiver respondents. Attributes were parameterized for both digital and non-digital tools. Random utility models were used to estimate caregivers’ preferences and WTP.


Among 184 study-eligible caregivers, 57, 61 and 66 participants cared for BPD, MDD, and SCZ patients, respectively. Caregivers highly preferred (odds ratio (OR): 7.34, 95% confidence interval (CI): 5.00–10.79) a tool that tracked medication ingestion using a pill embedded with an ingestible event market (IEM) sensor and tracked patients’ physical activity, mood, and rest than a non-digital pill organizer. Additionally, caregivers were willing to pay $255 per month (95% CI: $123–$387) more for this tool compared to a pill organizer.


Caregivers of SMI patients highly preferred and were willing to pay more for digital tools that not only measures medication ingestion but also tracks general health.

You can read the full paper here.

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