New healthcare technology tackles problem of medication non-adherence

Published: 21-Jun-2016

Foolproof announces prototype Internet of Things-enabled pill container

UK design agency, Foolproof, has been working on a prototype concept that offers a viable solution to the billion-pound problem of medication non-adherence.

The Foolproof creative technology team has created a proof of concept for a smart, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled pill container as part of its internal research and design programme.

This SmartDispenser offers a unique way to monitor how and when patients are taking medication. It can provide notifications to the user, doctor, or carer if a patient is off track with a prescription, or is running low on vital medication.

The technology is able to calculate whether a user has taken their medication and has the functionality to be able to send a reminder notification to the user’s smartphone when it is time to take a dose of medication. It also has the potential to notify a doctor, carer, or family member if a patient fails to adhere to a prescription dose or schedule.

The SmartDispenser is able to tackle the problem of medication non-adherence by:

  • Monitoring how and when a patient is taking medication through a weight sensor, and establishing whether they are taking the right dosage
  • Automatically triggering notifications to a medical professional or carer if a patient isn’t adhering to a prescription schedule or dosage
  • Linking to a smartphone app that will notify the user when it’s time to take medication or if they have forgotten to take the prescribed dosage

The technology is easy to use, enabling a patient or medical professional to enter information relating to medication contained in the SmartDispenser, prescription dose or frequency into the app.

Peter Ballard, co-founder of Foolproof, said: "The really-exciting thing about IoT technology is how it can help improve the quality of people’s lives. Whether that’s in small ways that help us free up more time to do the things we love, or whether that is in truly life-changing ways that can help improve our health and relationships.

“Our proof of concept helps show what can be achieved when you make a pill bottle smarter, keeping a patient on-track with their meds and alerting those that care about them when they don’t. It’s a global billion-dollar problem, solved through a mix of creative technology know-how and patient-centred thinking."

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