Medication management among older adults continues to be a challenge, and innovative electronic medication adherence products have been developed to address this need.
The aim of this study is to examine user experience with electronic medication adherence products, with particular emphasis on features, usefulness, and preferences.
Older adults, caregivers, and health care providers tested the usability of 22 electronic medication adherence products. After testing 5 products, participants were invited to participate in a one-on-one interview to investigate their perceptions and experiences with the features, usefulness, and preference for electronic medication adherence products tested. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using exploratory inductive coding to generate themes. The first 13 interviews were independently coded by 2 researchers. The percentage agreement and Cohen kappa after analyzing those interviews were 79% and 0.79, respectively. A single researcher analyzed the remaining interviews.
Of the 37 participants, 21 (57%) were older adults, 5 (14%) were caregivers, and 11 (30%) were health care providers. The themes and subthemes generated from the qualitative analysis included product factors (subthemes: simplicity and product features, including availability and usability of alarms, portability, restricted access to medications, and storage capacity) and user factors (subthemes: sentiment, affordability, physical and cognitive capability, and technology literacy and learnability).
Electronic medication adherence products have the potential to enable independent medication management in older adults. The choice of a particular product should be made after considering individual preferences for product features, affordability, and the sentiment of the users. Older adults, caregivers, and health care providers prefer electronic medication adherence products that are simple to set up and use, are portable, have easy-to-access medication compartments, are secure, and have adequate storage capacity.