Breath Monitoring Device to check for medication adherence in HIV/AIDS patients

AIDS symbol Here’s a new device which checks the breath of a person and finds out about the medication adherence in patients with HIV/AIDS.

Scientists at the University of Florida and Xhale Inc. have invented a special breath-monitoring device that keeps a check on the medication schedule of HIV/AIDS patients. The inventors test this device with the mindset of helping prevent the emergence of drug-resistant strains of HIV by monitoring medication adherence in high-risk individuals. The device is a bit bigger than a shoe box and it cleverly records the results of each breath test.

“For HIV, it’s been shown that if you don’t take a very high percentage of your medication, you may as well not take medication at all,” said Dr. Richard Melker, a professor of anaesthesiology at the UF College of Medicine and chief technology officer for Xhale.

The deadly disease has the capability to get worse if the patient does not adhere to the medication completely or partially. This new device could be a life-saver in such doubtful situations. Traditionally the method followed to check on patients is by keeping a tab on their medication through daily log books which record the time each pill is dispensed. This procedure seems inconvenient to both, patients and the clinic personnel.

“The machine sits in your home and when it’s time for you to take your medication, it makes a beeping noise. If you don’t hit a button after about five minutes, it’s going to beep louder and louder until you come. If you don’t come after a certain amount of time, the machine can call the clinical trial coordinator and indicate that subject or patient didn’t take the medication as prescribed,” Melker said.

To eradicate the old painful method of checking on patients, the device could bring in huge smiles to the doctors as well as the patients. Since the intelligent device is still in a testing phase, so it will be the success of these tests which decide its fate further on.