Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Information Systems

First Advisor

Dr. Upkar Varshney

Second Advisor

Dr. Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Dr. Punit Ahluwalia

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Greg Gimpel


In this research we present a model for medication adherence from information systems and technologies (IS/IT) perspective. Information technology applications for healthcare have the potential to improve cost-effectiveness, quality and accessibility of healthcare. To date, measurement of patient medication adherence and use of interventions to improve adherence are rare in routine clinical practice. IS/IT perspective helps in leveraging the technology advancements to develop a health IT system for effectively measuring medication adherence and administering interventions.

Majority of medication adherence studies have focused on average medication adherence. Average medication adherence is the ratio of the number of doses consumed and the number of doses prescribed. It does not matter in which order or pattern patients consume the dose. Patients with enormously diverse dosing behavior can achieve the same average levels of medication adher­ence. The same outcomes with different levels of ad­herence raise the possibility that patterns of adherence affect the effectiveness of medication adherence. We propose that medication adherence research should utilize effective medication adherence (EMA), derived by including both the pattern and average medication adherence for a patient.

Using design science research (DSR) approach we have developed a model as an artifact for smart interventions. We have leveraged behavior change techniques (BCTs) based on the behavior change theories to design smart intervention. Because of the need for real time requirements for the system, we are also focusing on hierarchical control system theory and reference model architecture (RMA). The benefit of using this design is to enable an intervention to be administered dynamically on a need basis. A key distinction from existing systems is that the developed model leverages probabilistic measure instead of static schedule. We have evaluated and validated the model using formal proofs and by domain experts.

The research adds to the IS knowledge base by providing the theory based smart interventions leveraging BCTs and RMA for improving the medication adherence. It introduces EMA as a measurement of medication adherence to healthcare systems. Smart interventions based on EMA will further lead to reducing the healthcare cost by improving prescription outcomes.