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Study Shows Cell Phone Photos May Improve Compliance with Meth Treatment

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A new study finds asking patients to use a cell phone to snap a picture of medication for methamphetamine dependence treatment before they take it, and emailing it to their doctor, may be a simple and effective way of monitoring treatment compliance, Medical News Today reports.

In the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the researchers reported they provided cell phones with cameras to 20 patients taking modafinil to treat methamphetamine dependence. Patients were told to take a picture of their medication in their hand before they swallowed it, and to email the photo to the researchers.

The researchers compared the cell phone method with two other approaches to assessing medication compliance. One approach, called a medication event monitoring system, is a pill bottle that electronically records every time the bottle is opened. A second approach is counting the patient’s supply of pills at each clinic visit.

They concluded the cell phone technique allowed more accurate time measures and more frequent assessment of compliance than the other two methods. “Given the ubiquity of cellular telephone use, and the relative ease of this adherence measurement method, we believe it is a useful and cost-effective approach,” the researchers wrote.

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