Delivering a Multi-Lingual, Patient-Managed SMS Medication Reminder System Without Developing Software

John Ainsworth* John Ainsworth*, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Richard Drake, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Shon Lewis, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Track: Practice
Presentation Topic: Web 2.0 approaches for clinical practice, clinical research, quality monitoring
Presentation Type: Rapid-Fire Presentation
Submission Type: Single Presentation

Building: Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School
Room: C-Rotunda Room
Date: 2012-09-16 02:00 PM – 02:45 PM
Last modified: 2012-09-10

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OPTiMiSE is a pan-European, multi-faceted series of studies investigating methods for improving the effectiveness of existing treatments for schizophrenia. Within this portfolio, the Psychosocial Intervention study is a randomised control trial of motivational interviewing and an informatics intervention that gives participants access to a website that (i) contains educational resources about schizophrenia and the treatments available; (ii) patients can use to configure SMS (text) messages to remind them to take their medication. The primary research question is to whether the intervention improves function of people with schizophrenia; a supplementary research question is to determine the extent, to which the participants would engage with the informatics intervention,
Participants in the trial are being recruited in ten European countries, and therefore the website content and user interface has to be delivered in ten different languages and across four different time zones. For the medication adherence functionality, the participant’s clinician must schedule the SMS reminder messages during a clinical consultation and initially in accordance with the participant’s current prescription. Up to five SMS medication reminder messages can be configured within a twenty-four hour period, and the content and timing can be defined independently for each. After the initial consultation, participants are able to logon to the website and adjust the timing and content of the reminders without restriction. All page accesses and changes to the reminder profiles are tracked. The initial period for the intervention is twelve weeks, with the option to extend to fifty-two should the participant and their clinician be willing.
We have successfully used the Drupal ( Content Management Framework (CMF), which is free and open source, to develop and deliver the psychosocial intervention. The Drupal CMF provided multi-lingual and multi-time zone support, user account and profile administration, role-based access control and integration with international SMS gateway providers. The website was fully developed and put into to operation in just eight weeks, requiring no bespoke software development, but simply configuration of the Drupal CMF and its modules. Following a one-month trail period with healthy volunteers, the system is now fully operational and is being used by participants from all ten countries.
Free, open source Content Management Frameworks (CMF) can be used to accelerate Medicine 2.0 research. They provide highly configurable, feature rich environments that can be easily customised, without software development, to deliver complex web applications with both “push” and “pull” modes of interaction, and as such, lower the technical, operational and financial barriers to developing novel healthcare technologies.

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