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ARemind: A Personalized System to Remind for Adherence (ARemind)

This study has been completed.
Boston University
Boston Medical Center
Harvard Medical School
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Vikram Sheel Kumar, Dimagi Inc. Identifier:
First received: October 26, 2010
Last updated: July 22, 2014
Last verified: July 2014
The main aim of this phase II proposal is to continue and complete development of a cellular phone-based system that assists patients with their medication adherence. Adherence reports will be developed with feedback from patients and providers. Software for patients to report their four day recall adherence through text messaging or short message service (SMS) or interactive voice response (IVR) will be built. An initial qualitative study will evaluate the adherence reports, 4-day adherence recalls, and inform the development of content for reminder text messages that could be resistant to user fatigue. A redesigned system will be tested through a 3-week longitudinal study of 15 patients with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). An intervention module will have an analytics engine to track adherence levels and personalize delivery of reminder messages. A clinic appointment module will perform patient appointment reminders. The final system with these modules will be tested through a 24-week efficacy study. A total of 115 patients and providers will be involved in the three user studies.

Condition Intervention
Medication Adherence
Device: Beeper
Device: ARemind

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: ARemind: A Personalized System to Remind for Adherence

Further study details as provided by Dimagi Inc.:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Adherence to Anti-retroviral Therapy [ Time Frame: daily, for the 6 month duration of the third user study, from October 2011 through March 2012 ]
    MEMS pill caps or boxes will be used to monitor adherence. Each participant will place the drug containing the protease inhibitor, or, if no such drug is being taken, the drug with the highest dosing frequency, inside of a MEMS device, which automatically records each time the pillbox was opened. Participants will bring this to the clinic during their regularly scheduled visits, and those daily measurements will be downloaded to a clinic machine.

  • Self-Report [ Time Frame: every 3 weeks, for the 6 month duration of the third user study, from October 2011 through March 2012 ]
    During the clinic visits ever 3 weeks over the course of the study, participants will be asked to recall what pills they took and what they missed.

  • Pill Count [ Time Frame: every 3 weeks, for the 6 month duration of the third user study, from October 2011 through March 2012 ]
    During the clinic visits ever 3 weeks over the course of the study, participants will be asked to bring all their pill bottles and count the contents of each bottle with assistance from the study coordinator. This count will be compared with the refill history for that patient from the pharmacy in order to get a sense of how many pills they have taken.

Enrollment: 70
Study Start Date: October 2011
Study Completion Date: January 2013
Primary Completion Date: January 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Beeper
Patients randomized to the control arm (Beeper) will receive the standard of care at each clinic visit. The subjects will bring their HIV medications every 3 weeks (MEMS measure, pill count) and questioned on their adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the past 7 days. They will not receive any text messages addressing their adherence to ART between each study visit. Their providers will not be receiving any adherence reports but will be asked to assess their adherence at at the start of the trial (Time 1 or T1) and at subsequent clinic visit scheduled according to a frequency defined by standard of care.
Device: Beeper
Beepers are handheld portable devices which can be attached to a belt. At regular intervals corresponding to the participant's preferred reminder time, they buzz for a few minutes or until the participant presses a button to stop the buzzing.
Other Name: ALRT Med Reminder Model PC100
Experimental: Cell Phone
Participants will receive a text message reminder via ARemind at scheduled intervals, with varying frequency. They will also be subject to a remote adherence assessment, over text messages, interactive voice response (IVR), or a remote pill count with assistance over the phone from a counselor. Those who demonstrate lower adherence rates may receive a call from a counselor.
Device: ARemind
ARemind will personalize reminder messages based on adherence levels and facilitate patient phone calls with social workers/adherence counselors when appropriate. It will also consist of a text-messaging or interactive voice response (IVR) or phone-based pill count remote adherence assessment module.

Detailed Description:

The specific study aims are described below:

  1. Organize the Design, Evaluation, and Implementation Teams: The development of ARemind will be guided by design, evaluation and implementation teams. The design team will build the software architecture and execute the software development with inputs from the user studies. The evaluation team will prepare the institutional review board (IRB) submissions, develop the qualitative instruments, and analyze the qualitative and quantitative data. The implementation team will guide clinical and commercial design aspects including input on the remote adherence assessments, the intervention and clinic appointment modules, and the commercialization plan.
  2. Run first user study as a qualitative assessment of patient and provider preferences of ARemind: A web-based adherence report for providers will be developed. Software modules to assess adherence over the phone through 4-day SMS or IVR recalls will be created along with a protocol for performing phone-based unannounced pill counts. The interfaces will be tested as a part of in-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews with 15 providers and 15 patients to guide the system design.
  3. Study the content preferences through a second user study: A new version of ARemind (version 2.0) will be built based on the feedback from the first user study. It will include the three remote adherence assessment modules. It will be tested longitudinally for 3 weeks on 15 patients with HIV/AIDS. The patients will use Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) software, in the form of MEMS caps, and have weekly clinic visits with adherence counselors who will generate a composite adherence score at each visit. MEMS caps are electronic devices attached to a pill bottle which detect and record the time at which the bottles are opened and closed, using this as an estimate for the number of pills taken. These will be compared to the adherence scores from the remote adherence assessment modules. The patients will give qualitative feedback at each visit on the reminder messages to guide the design of content resistant to user fatigue.
  4. Explore the feasibility of ARemind through a third user study: An intervention module with an analytics engine will be built. It will personalize reminder messages based on adherence levels and facilitate patient phone calls with social workers/adherence counselors when appropriate. A clinic appointment reminder module will be created and interfaced with the health information exchange of Boston Medical Center (BMC). A new version of ARemind (version 3.0) will contain these new modules and content improved based upon the second study. ARemind 3.0 will be tested through a 24-week longitudinal study of 70 patients. Thirty five patients will be randomized to use cell phones with ARemind 3.0 (intervention) while 35 patients will use beepers (control). Patients will use MEMS caps for composite adherence scores that will be done at each of their 9 adherence visits during the study. Analysis of feasibility, efficacy, user-fatigue and cost-savings from improved adherence to medications and clinic appointments will be performed in this aim.



Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Stable ART (no change of ART for 3 months)
  • Greater than 18 years of age
  • Self-report adherence < 85%

Exclusion Criteria:

  • HIV-infected patients not on ART
  • Non-English speaking
  • Dementia (via mini mental status exam)
  • Incarceration
  • Legally blind and./or deaf
  • User of pillboxes
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01229722

United States, Massachusetts
Center for HIV/AIDS Care and Research, Boston Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02118
Sponsors and Collaborators
Dimagi Inc.
Boston University
Boston Medical Center
Harvard Medical School
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Vikram S Kumar, M.D. Dimagi Inc.
Principal Investigator: Amy Baranoski, M.D. Boston Medical Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: Vikram Sheel Kumar, Chief Medical Officer, Dimagi Inc. Identifier: NCT01229722     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2R44MH080655-02 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
R44MH080655 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: October 26, 2010
Results First Received: February 10, 2014
Last Updated: July 22, 2014

Keywords provided by Dimagi Inc.:
text messages
mHealth processed this record on May 24, 2017