A Pilot Study of mDOT for Immunosuppressant Adherence in Adult Kidney Transplant Recipients

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Johns Hopkins University




Medication Adherence
Transplant; Kidney


Other: mHealth Intervention

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The investigators are interested in whether or not the use of a mobile health (mHealth) application increases the rate of immunosuppression medication adherence among adult kidney transplant recipients. The investigators aim to test this by randomly assigning transplant recipients to the intervention (use of an mHealth app to manage and track their immunosuppression regimen) or control arm (standard of care) upon discharge from their initial transplant hospitalization, and tracking medication adherence over time. The study population will be approximately 50 adult kidney transplant recipients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Full description

In adult kidney transplant recipients, the leading predictor of rejection, kidney loss, and death is immunosuppressive medication nonadherence. An estimated one-third of kidney transplant recipients reportedly experience medication nonadherence, and even minor deviations from the required protocol have been shown to have negative effects. However, due to the lack of systematic measurements of adherence, the direct relationship between the level of immunosuppressive medication adherence and poor outcomes is not well understood. Therefore, the investigators believe that mHealth technologies could be a feasible way to allow clinicians and researchers to better understand baseline adherence measurements, and increase immunosuppression adherence among kidney transplant recipients. We will use a mobile health platform that enables users to track dose-by-dose medication adherence through asynchronous, video directly observed therapy (DOT). This helps patients take their medication as prescribed and gives providers the assurance that their patients are supported and successful in treatment. DOT is the practice of watching a patient take every dose of medicine in-person, and has typically only been done in extreme cases because it can be both costly and burdensome: DOT is the standard of care for Tuberculosis treatment and has proven high-adherence rates. Through mHealth technology, DOT can be used more broadly and without added burden; emocha's technology allows this through enabling patients to use their mobile application to view their regimen, record themselves taking every dose of their medication, report side effects or symptoms, visualize their treatment progress, access educational content, and track appointments. This information is encrypted and transmitted to a HIPAA-secure web portal for providers to review. The aim of this study is to conduct a randomized control trial to compare medication adherence between patients who use the mHealth system against controls who do not.




22+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Adults (≥22 years)
  • Receive a kidney transplant at the Johns Hopkins Hospital

Exclusion criteria

  • Non-English speaking participants

Trial design

Primary purpose

Supportive Care



Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


None (Open label)

0 participants in 2 patient groups

Standard of Care
No Intervention group
Participants in the control arm will be instructed to take their immunosuppressive medications as prescribed and attend required follow-up as is standard of care, and will not receive the mHealth app.
mHealth Intervention
Experimental group
Participants in the intervention arm will receive the mHealth app either while they are an inpatient post-transplant, or at their first post-transplant clinic visit. Study personnel will assist participants assigned to the mHealth intervention arm with downloading the mHealth app and explain its functioning. Participants will then use the application to aid in immunosuppressive medication adherence post-transplant.
Other: mHealth Intervention

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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