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BMJ Open. 2018 Apr 28;8(4):e019422. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019422.

Novel augmented reality solution for improving health literacy around antihypertensives in people living with type 2 diabetes mellitus: protocol of a technology evaluation study.

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School of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Digital Media Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
School of Psychology and Counselling, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
QUT Library, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Diabetes Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Business Management, Terry White Chemmart Group, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.



Low health literacy is common in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (up to 40%), associated with decreased self-efficacy in managing T2DM and its important complications, mainly hypertension. This study introduces, for the first time, an easy-to-use solution based on augmented reality (AR) on smartphones, to enhance health literacy around antihypertensive medicines. It assesses the feasibility of the solution for improving health literacy, oriented specifically to angiotensin II receptor blockers; embedding the health literacy improvement into the use cycle of angiotensin II receptor blockers and providing continuous access to information as a form of patient engagement.


This is a technology evaluation study with one technology group (AR plus usual care) and one non-technology group (usual care). Both groups receive face-to-face communications with community pharmacists regarding angiotensin II receptor blockers; the technology group receive additional AR-enhanced digital consumer medicine information throughout the use of their medications. The primary outcome is the change in health literacy and the hypothesis is that the proportions of people who show high health literacy will be larger in the technology group. Mixed effects models will be used to analyse solution effectiveness on outcomes. Multiple regression models will be used to find additional variables that might affect the relationship between health literacy and the AR solution.


Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Human Research Ethics Committee has approved the study as a low-risk technology evaluation study (approval number: 1700000275). Findings will be disseminated via attending scientific conferences and publishing in peer-reviewed journals. Facilitated by QUT, two press releases have been published in public media and two presentations have been made in university classrooms.


health informatics; hypertension; information technology; telemedicine

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