Mobile App Boosts Adherence, Viral Suppression For Patients With HIV

JUNE 28, 2018
Jared Kaltwasser
Patients with HIV who used a specially designed smartphone app had significantly higher rates of regular clinic visits and viral suppression, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Virginia developed an app called PositiveLinks to test out whether interactive smartphone functions and reminders could have a real-world impact on the health of HIV-positive patients. To test it, they enrolled 77 recently diagnosed patients who had sought treatment at the Ryan White Clinic in central Virginia.

At the start of the trial, 51% of the patients reported regular visits to the clinic. After 6 months of using the app, 88% reported regular visits, while after 12 months, the number was 81%.

Meanwhile, 47% of study enrollees, all of whom had been diagnosed within the previous 90 days before the start of the study, suppressed their virus by the time they started using the app. At 6 months, the viral suppression rate increased to 87%, and held at 79% within 12 months.

The app provides several features to benefit patients, including appointment reminders, and daily check-ins, in which the app asks users about their stress levels ,and medication adherence.

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