MAR 18, 2021 2:01 AM PDT

Technology Fixes Errors Associated with Self-Administering Medications

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Almost all medications allow patients to self-administer—however, that does not mean that they always get it right. Patients may not adhere to the proper protocol given to them by their doctor and/or what is labeled on the package. To address this issue, researchers at MIT are developing systems to reduce errors associated with self-administering medications.

Learn more about different methods of drug administration:

"Some past work reports that up to 70% of patients do not take their insulin as prescribed, and many patients do not use inhalers properly," says Dina Katabi.

The system involves pairing wireless sensing with artificial intelligence which can be installed at home and will alert patients/caregivers to medication errors. The new technology can reduce unnecessary hospital visits.

Findings were reported in the journal Nature Medicine.

"For example, insulin pens require priming to make sure there are no air bubbles inside. And after injection, you have to hold for 10 seconds," says Zhao. "All those little steps are necessary to properly deliver the drug to its active site." Each step also presents opportunity for errors, especially when there's no pharmacist present to offer corrective tips. Patients might not even realize when they make a mistake -- so Zhao's team designed an automated system that can.

"One nice thing about this system is that it doesn't require the patient to wear any sensors," says Zhao. "It can even work through occlusions, similar to how you can access your Wi-Fi when you're in a different room from your router."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
Doctorate (PhD)
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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