Digital directly observed therapy to monitor adherence to medications: A scoping review


Background: Technology-based directly observed therapy (DOT) is more cost-effective and efficient compared with in-person monitoring visits for medication adherence. While some evidence shows these technologies are feasible and acceptable, there is limited evidence collating information across medical conditions or in the context of HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Objectives: We conducted a scoping review to understand the current evidence on the acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of digital DOT to improve medication adherence and, specifically, to determine if digital DOT had been used to improve adherence for HIV prevention, care, and treatmentMethods: We searched the electronic databases PubMed, Embase, and the Web of Science in January 2021 for any published studies with terms related to digital technologies and DOT. We included peer-reviewed studies in any population, from any country, for any outcome, and excluded conference abstracts. We included three types of digital DOT interventions: synchronous DOT, asynchronous DOT, and automated DOT. We provide an assessment of the current evidence, gaps in literature, and opportunities for intervention development regarding the use digital DOT to improve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, specifically in the field of HIV. Results: We identified 28 studies that examined digital DOT. All studies found digital DOT to be acceptable and feasible. Patients using digital DOT had higher rates of treatment completion, observed doses, and adherence compared with in-person DOT, although data were limited on adherence. Only one study examined HIV prevention, and none examined ART adherence for HIV treatment .Conclusions: Digital DOT is acceptable and feasible but has not been used to remotely monitor and support ART adherence for people living with HIV.


Stoner MCD, Maragh-Bass AC, Sukhija-Cohen AC, Saberi P




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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