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Evaluation of NFC-Guidable System to Manage Polypharmacy in Elderly Patients

Khalid Alzahrani1,*, Mrim Alnfiai2

1 Department of Clinical Laboratories Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Taif University, P.O. Box 11099, Taif, 21944, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Information Technology, College of Computers and Information Technology, Taif University, Taif P.O. Box 11099, Taif, 21944, Saudi Arabia

* Corresponding Author: Khalid Alzahrani. Email:

Computer Systems Science and Engineering 2022, 41(2), 445-460.


A complete and thorough understanding by patients of their prescriptions is one of the most critical components of a successful treatment journey. Being unfamiliar with the intricacies of prescribed medication can cause serious health risks due to not adhering to prescription instructions or noting potential drug interactions, which can lead to life-threatening injuries. Pharmacists face communication barriers (including non-English speaking patients), lack of time, lack of knowledge, workload, and frequent interruption when dispensing medicines often preventing them from providing the necessary guidance to their patients. To minimize this risk, an NFC-Guidable polypharmacy system was developed integrating Near Field Technology (NFC) into prescription packages. The intention being, to automate prescription identification for elderly patients in hospitals and primary health care (PHC) centers where Arabic is their native language and patients have five or more prescriptions at a time. The system provides prescription information such as name, expiration date based on the Islamic calendar, appropriate dosage, the correct time for a dose, contraindication, and other relevant instructions in Arabic. The objectives of the system are to improve patient safety and enhance the quality of prescription dispensing for elderly and non-English speaking patients. An evaluation study with polypharmacy elderly patients and pharmacists is conducted to understand the perception and acceptance of the system by both groups. The strengths and weaknesses of the system as well as suggestions for improvement from participants were also gathered. The study results indicate that the system helps patients to avoid misuse of sensitive medication and authenticates their prescribed prescription drugs before taking them. The system also assists pharmacists in improving the efficiency of dispensing medication and streamline processes. Overall, the application was well received by both patients and pharmacists. Thus, NFC technology should be integrated into the healthcare sector to overcome language barriers, the lack of specialized medication labels for illiterate or patients with sight constraints as well as unreasonable expectations placed on pharmacists.


Cite This Article

K. Alzahrani and M. Alnfiai, "Evaluation of nfc-guidable system to manage polypharmacy in elderly patients," Computer Systems Science and Engineering, vol. 41, no.2, pp. 445–460, 2022.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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