compared with those who did not use the app.
Treatment adherence remains a challenge in psoriasis, and although the field of electronic health interventions is growing, data on the effectiveness of such interventions are limited, wrote, of Odense University Hospital in Denmark, and his colleagues.
In a study published in the, 134 adults with psoriasis were randomized to use a smartphone app (68) or not (66) that provided daily medication reminders and daily information about the amount of treatment and number of product applications.
The primary outcome measure of treatment adherence was defined as once-daily application of topical medication – calcipotriol/betamethasone dipropionate cutaneous foam – for at least 80% of the days during the treatment period. A computer chip on the medication dispenser tracked patient use of the product and sent usage information to the patient’s smartphone via Bluetooth.
At 4 weeks, 65% of patients who used the app were adherent to treatment, versus 38% of those who didn’t use the app (P = .004).
In addition, patients who used the app showed significant improvement in disease severity, based on the secondary outcome measure of the Lattice System Physician’s Global Assessment () at 4 weeks, with a mean change in score from baseline of 1.86 in the app group and 1.46 in the non-app group (P = .047). The LS-PGA and the Dermatology Life Quality Index ( ) were measured at all visits. No significant differences on the DLQI appeared between the groups.
During a 22-week follow-up completed by 122 patients, the effects were similar, but the differences were not statistically significant at weeks 8 and 26.
The study findings were limited by several factors, including the lack of knowledge of the correct amount of medication needed for the full benefit of the topical treatment and a lack of data on patient satisfaction with the app, the researchers noted. However, the results suggest that a medication reminder app improved disease severity as well as patient adherence rates in the short term, and that “there is potential for implementing patient-supporting apps in the dermatology clinic.”
The study was supported by LEO Pharma and by the Kirsten and Volmer Rask Nielsen’s Foundation; part of Dr. Svendsen’s salary during the study was paid by LEO Pharma, and several coauthors reported relationships with LEO Pharma.