Compliance, adherence, or just plain remembering. However we label it, taking medication on schedule can be a chore, especially when you have multiple prescriptions. Absent our own Nurse Ratched to enforce medication schedules, it can be easy to lose track of what we’re supposed to take as we go about our busy lives. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), patients with chronic illness who don’t take their meds are up to 69% more likely to be readmitted to a hospital. We’ve looked at automated medication dispensers in the past, including the EllieGrid smart pill box and the HERO countertop dispenser.
Hong Kong-based Qualife designed the CYCO smart pillbox to give consumers a stress-free tool to remember to take their medications at the right time. CYCO’s circular shape maximizes storage capacity and helps users twist the case to find the correct compartment. Users can store up to one week’s scheduled medication in separate compartments, entering the drug names, frequency, and dosage with a smartphone app. LED and sound alerts on the case signal when it’s time to take medication. Sensors indicate when the user opens the correct compartment and note when the user turns the case over to dispense the pills. The smartphone app records all actions with the case for the user or for third-party monitoring.
Relatively low-cost medication reminder tech that helps patients and caregivers alike manage and track adherence sounds great on paper. Qualife launched a Kickstarter campaign for the CYCO smart pillbox and met its modest $7,543 goal in two days. The company plans to ship reward products to backers in November 2018. As with all crowdfunded product launches, interested parties should exercise caution and realize that campaign pledges only result in receiving the actual reward product if the full campaign is successful and if the developers follow through with subsequent stages in taking the product to market.