The eDosette Study: Optimizing medication use and safety in community dwelling seniors

This study was a trial of the eDosette, an electronic device that provides information about how and when a patient takes their medications, and any side effects experienced, to their family doctor and pharmacist.

Possible Research Results

Anticipated findingsWe anticipate that the eDosette will demonstrate that older adults do not always take medications as prescribed. The timely communication of these findings to the primary care team will result in a reduction in medication complexity and improved medication adherence.

Impact of findingsThe eDosette will be able to provide previously unavailable information about how an older adult takes their medications to their primary care team. In addition, older adults will be given the opportunity to more easily report medication side effects as they occur. This eDosette has the potential to make an ongoing economic impact through its potential to reduce waste from improperly taken medications, and by reducing hospital and emergency visits from adverse drug events. If this project does result in older adults taking their medication correctly, there is potential to relieve that part of caregiver burden which will hopefully improve the caregiver’s quality of life and the older adults’ health. The eDosette device was created to empower older adults to manage their medications appropriately and provide an automatic way for them to let their primary care team know when they’re in danger of experiencing a possible side effect.

About the Project

As our population ages, the number of chronic medical conditions and medications given to the elderly increases. It is, therefore, not surprising to find that frail elderly patients have trouble keeping track of and taking their medications as told by their doctor. Blister packs and dosettes can simplify taking pills, however they do not provide any information about how and which pills a patient may be taking.

This study looked to see whether the eDosette can help the older adults living with frailty take their medications better. More importantly, the study determined whether the information sent by the eDosette will allow family doctors and pharmacists to match patients’ medications to their ability to safely self-administer them, while keeping in mind what is best for each patient. This study also showed how older patients living with frailty are taking their medications, how the eDosette prompted improved medication regimes, and lastly, further refined the eDosette device for a larger future study.

Project Team

Principal Investigators:

Henry Siu, MD, MSc, CCFP — McMaster University

David Chan, MD, CCFP, MSc, FCFP — McMaster University


Michelle Howard, MSc, PhD — McMaster University

Dee Mangin, MBChB, FRNZCGP, DPH — McMaster University

David Price, MD, CCFP, FCFP — McMaster University

Knowledge Users and Partners:

Kiska Colwill, BScPhm — McMaster Family Practice

Kristina Frizzle, BScPhm, RPh, CDE — Stonechurch Family Health Centre

Jane Jucic, BScPhm, MSc — McMaster Family Practice

Project Contact: Henry Siu —

CAT 2015-25

Rationale, Hypothesis, Objectives & Research Plan

Rationale: The eDosette is an electronic pill dosette that is linked to an online personal health record (PHR) to monitor when a medication is taken and allow older adults to automatically report possible drug side effects. The information captured by the eDosette will be used to improve communication between the older adult and their primary health care team in order to start important discussions to determine the best medications for the patient.

Hypothesis: In this study, we hope to show that the eDosette will: (1) reduce the difference between what is prescribed and how a medication is taken by older adults, (2) impact how a clinician decides to prescribe medications to individual patients and (3) empower the older adult to take their medications properly.

Objectives: (1) To measure the difference between how a patient takes their medication and how it was prescribed, (2) to show a change in medication complexity and 3) to measure the number and type of side effects reported by the patients and how that results in changes in care and communication.

Research plan: Medication taking data will be shared between the patient and their health care providers via the PHR for a four week period. In each clinic, the clinical pharmacist will work with the older adults and their family physicians to better tailor the older adult’s medication.