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Table 1 eHealth technologies and their application in medicines management

From: eHealth in the future of medications management: personalisation, monitoring and adherence

eHealth technology What is it? Application in medicines management
Electronic health records (EHRs) EHRs are real-time, patient-centred records that provide immediate and secure information to authorised users. EHRs typically contain a patient’s medical history, diagnoses and treatment, medications, allergies, immunisations, as well as radiology images and laboratory results. A national EHR system is most-often implemented under the responsibility of a national health organisation and will typically make a patient’s medical history available to health professionals in healthcare institutions and provide linkages to related services such as pharmacies, laboratories, specialists, and emergency and medical imaging facilities [62] History taking, recording and decision support for medicines management
Telehealth Telehealth refers to the delivery of healthcare services, where patients and providers are separated by distance. Telehealth uses information communication technologies for the exchange of information for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health professionals. It is particularly valuable for those in remote areas, vulnerable groups and aging populations [63] Remote consultations including exchange of information on chronic disease care and medicines management [64]
Web-based monitoring system Web-based monitoring systems are internet-based websites developed to monitor and/or to deliver tailored educational content related to a health condition Monitoring of medication adherence and education on the chronic disease, including the required medication (e.g. asthma) [65]. May/may not provide a communication platform for patients with their healthcare providers [39]
Short messaging service (SMS) SMS, or text messaging, is used as a communication tool to exchange short messages over the phone, web or mobile communication system. It is a low-cost method to promote, inform or remind patients on information relating to their health or healthcare. It can also be used as a tool to facilitate communication of health messages between patients and healthcare providers [36] Tailored or standardised medicine taking reminders with either one way or two-way interactions. Studies have shown improvement in medication adherence, but more high quality studies are required to establish evidence in this area [66]
Mobile health apps Mobile apps are software applications designed to run on portable devices such as smartphone or tablet computers. Health apps are designed for a multitude of purposes such as data collection, health and disease education, disease and lifestyle management, surveillance, monitoring and health promotion to support the management of one’s health Personalised reminders; medicines organisation; polypharmacy management; integration of medicines taking as part of chronic disease management; information exchange on medicines; medication refill orders
Wearable devices Wearable devices are gadgets embedded with electronics, software or sensors that can be worn as clothing or accessories. Wearable devices are also examples of Internet of Things, where a network of sensors can perform data exchange across platforms. These devices are useful for round-the-clock monitoring and can collect real-time data through location and activity tracking App-linked devices with sensors can be worn to alert asthma patients of impending asthma attacks, for better medicines management [67]. Biosensors such as wearable patches or contact lenses can continuously measure blood glucose for better insulin management [68]; however, the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of these devices have yet to be established