Do you have trouble keeping track of what prescriptions, vitamins, and supplements to take and when? Or do you have a loved one who struggles with taking medicine on time? Lots of people do have scheduled med issues. I know when I’m not feeling well, it’s easy to forget when I last took what. My solution is to record on 3 by 5 cards when I took something and when the next one is due. Some people like those AM/PM weekly container strips you can get at the pharmacy.
PillDrill, Inc. has started selling its self-named pill system. PillDrill reminds when pills or other meds are due, tracks when they’re taken, and reports compliance to the pill taker and anyone else who’s set up in the accompanying smartphone app. In addition, PillDrill has a mood or “How are you feeling?” component with which the person using the system can record their mood at the time. It may sound like the system does a lot, and there are indeed several moving parts.
The system comes with a PillDrill hub that sends visual and audible alerts when something is due. Twelve scanning tags are included to attach to bottles or other containers of whatever you’re taking. There are two weekly pill strips with scannable tags for each, similar in appearance to the drug store variety. And there’s a mood cube. The mood cube has five scannable faces that you swipe by the hub scanner to record how you feel: Great; Good; OK; Bad; and Awful. So when you use the mood cube, the system not only tracks your meds, it also tracks how you feel when you take them (or whenever you scan the cube).
The PillDrill hub system communicates via WiFi, but you don’t need a smartphone to use it, only to get reports. Once the schedule settings are entered, the hub runs on its own. The WiFi connection sends reports via computer to the cloud, from which they are in turn sent to configured smartphones. The hub has a large fairly format display for dosage reminders. It looks like a digital alarm clock with large buttons to scroll for reminders and settings. From the company’s website, the target market appears to be adults who want to keep track of their parents’ adherence to pill schedules.
If the only barrier to taking pills on time is just keeping track, I can see that PillDrill can make sense for some people. The initial batch — scheduled to ship in May — sold out; the next shipments will be in June.