Assistive technologies and strategies to support the medication management of individuals with hearing and/or visual impairment : a scoping review

Cooper, Lesley and Fuzesi, Peter and Jacob, Sabrina Anne and Kamalakannan, Sureshkumar and Lennon, Marilyn and Macaden, Leah and Smith, Annetta and Welsh, Tomas and Broadfoot, Kirsten and Watson, Margaret C. (2023) Assistive technologies and strategies to support the medication management of individuals with hearing and/or visual impairment : a scoping review. Disability and Health Journal, 16 (4). 101500. ISSN 1876-7583 (

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Background -- Individuals with sensory impairment (visual and/or hearing) experience health inequalities and increased risk of medication-related iatrogenic disease compared with the general population. Assistive technologies and tailored strategies could support medication management for individuals with sensory impairment to reduce harm and increase the likelihood of therapeutic benefit. Objective -- This scoping review identified assistive technologies and strategies to support medication management of /for people with hearing and/or visual impairment. Methods -- Standard scoping review methodology was used to identify studies that evaluated technologies or strategies designed to support people with sensory impairment with independent medicine management. Electronic databases were searched (MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, ACM, Cochrane) from inception to 18/07/22. Independent duplicate screening, selection and data extraction was undertaken. Results -- Of 1,231 publications identified 18 were included, reporting 17 studies, 16 of which evaluated technologies to assist people with visual impairment and one study to assist people with hearing impairment. The range of technologies and devices included: applications for android phones (n=6); eyedrop assistance devices (n=5); audio-prescription labelling/reading systems (n=2); touch-to-speech devices (n=2); continuous glucose monitoring system (n=1); and magnifying technology (n=1). Ten studies tested early-stage prototypes. Most participants could operate the technologies effectively and deemed them to be useful. Conclusions -- Despite the increasing number of medicine-related assistive technologies there has been limited empirical evaluation of their effectiveness for supporting individuals with sensory impairment. Prototypes appear to be useful for people with visual or hearing impairment, however wider ‘real-life’ testing is needed to confirm the benefits of these technologies.