Part of the miracle of modern medicine is the wide range of drugs available to treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. One of the biggest obstacles to the effective use of these medicines may seem trivial; people just do not consistently follow their treatment instructions. This problem turns out to be rather expensive, as some sources estimate that more than $300 billion in direct and indirect healthcare costs could be avoided with better adherence.
One approach to the solving the problem is to create smart pill dispensing systems. We’ve covered some of these products in the past, but now a new one has appeared. The EllieGrid is completing a highly successful Indiegogo campaign with the intention of shipping in the spring of 2017. The system is designed for ease of use in many of its features. For example, you don’t have to sort the pills into separate daily compartments. Instead, you simply dump the contents of your pill bottle into one of the seven compartments.
When it’s time to take your pills an alarm will sound, and lights on the outside of the container will light up to indicate which pills to take and how many. The smart box also has Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, and the box can send you reminders on a smartphone. The system can also be programmed to send an alert to a family member or caregiver if the box has not been opened when medications were due. The device has a rechargeable battery that is expected to run for a week between charges. The development team has taken the top prize in many technology competitions sponsored by companies ranging from IBM to CVS.
The EllieGrid could help many people be better about taking their medications as instructed. This could not only help their treatment be more effective, but it could also save significant amounts of money in healthcare costs.