Digital Pills in Monitoring of Pediatric Transplant Patients

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A large pediatric healthcare system in Dallas is sponsoring a digitized pill program that tracks the frequency with which pediatric organ transplant patients take their medications.

The program is being offered through Children’s Health of Dallas. There is no cost to patients or insurance carriers for receiving the digitized pills, says Children’s Health vice president virtual health and innovation Julie Hall-Barrow.

The program began piloting this summer with 19 patients. Since then another 50 patients have been enrolled in the program.

So far, the program has experienced no technical issues around the transmission of data from the digital pills. Results of the original test group have proven effective at helping physicians monitor their patient’s health and adjusting their medications between scheduled visits to prevent damage to the transplanted organ, Hall-Barrow says. The primary criteria for enrollment is that a patient must be capable of swallowing a pill, as not all pediatric patients can do so, Barrow says.

“Post-transplant medication compliance is important for organ transplant patients because their medication schedules can be complex, which can lead to some patients taking their medications late or forgetting a dosage,” Hall-Barrow says. “Digitally tracking whether a medication has been taken and at what time can alert a physician about the need to intervene if the patient is not following her medication schedule, and manage better outcomes for their patients.”

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