An Ecosystem for Objectively Monitoring and Improving Medication Adherence in Adolescent Transplant Recipients

Funded by: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
PI’s: Maysam Ghovanloo

The objective was to create an ecosystem for objectively monitoring and improving medication adherence in adolescent transplant recipients using a lightweight wireless and wearable devise, worn around the neck. We designed and developed an early prototype (mockup) of a pharmaceutical adherence monitoring system in the form of wireless neckwear, equipped with off-the-shelf electronics. We tested the mock up device on healthy volunteers, and collected multimodal data, such as swallowing sounds, activity tracking, and heart-rate.

We evaluated several industrial neckwear designs in terms of appearance, functionality, and acceptability among potential users. We also developed user interface software and digital signal processing algorithms to derive meaningful data from the acquired signals. In consultation with the clinical team, we identified the key features to be included in the associated social environment, and identified cost and benefits of regularly wearing the proposed neckwear. However, we could not reach the stage to directly involve the end users.



T. Olubanjo, E. Moore, and M. Ghovanloo, “Unobtrusive and wearable systems for automatic dietary monitoring,” Accepted for publication in IEEE Trans. on Biomed. Engineering, Nov. 2016. 

T. Olubanjo, E. Moore, and M. Ghovanloo, “Detecting food intake acoustic events in noisy recordings using template matching,” Proc. of the Intl. Conf. Biomed Health Informatics, pp. 388 – 391, Feb. 2016.

A. Liutkus, T. Olubanjo, E. Moore, and M. Ghovanloo, “Source separation for target enhancement of food intake acoustics from noisy recordings,” to be presented at the IEEE Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics (WASPAA’15), New Paltz, NY, Oct. 2015.

T. Olubanjo and M. Ghovanloo, “Tracheal activity recognition based on acoustic signals,” Proc. IEEE Eng. in Med. and Biol. Conf., pp. 1436-1439, Aug. 2014.

T. Olubanjo and M. Ghovanloo, “Real-time swallowing detection based on tracheal acoustics,” IEEE Intl. Conf. on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Proc. (ICASSP’14), pp. 4417-4421, May 2014.

S. Eiring, Y.M. Choi, and M. Ghovanloo, “Privacy in medication adherence and personal emergency response systems,” Intl. Conf. Design Principles and Practices. Vancouver, Canada, vol. 8, Jan. 2014.

Y.M. Choi and M. Ghovanloo, “Challenges to a persistent medication adherence monitoring system for seniors,” J. Neuroscience and Neuroengineering, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 250-254, June 2013. DOI:

Y.M. Choi, T. Olubanjo, A. Farajidavar, and M. Ghovanloo, “Potential barriers in adoption of a medication compliance neckwear by elderly population,” Proc. IEEE 35th Eng. in Med. and Biol. Conf., pp. 4678-4681, June 2013.

We hypothesized that wearing a wireless, lightweight, and fashionable ingestion-based medication adherence monitoring system (MAMS) in the form of neckwear (e.g. a necklace or Phiten) combined with effective incentives via social networks can change the behavior of pediatric/adolescent/adult patients post solid organ transplantation and significantly improve their medication adherence, while providing the clinicians with valuable information that can extend the transplant longevity, reduce healthcare costs, and improve the patients’ quality of life.  

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