In the United States today, the healthcare system in under pressure financially because hundreds of millions of dollars each year is wasted on patients forgetting to take their prescription drugs. Not to mention the complications involved for patients who fail to adhere to their doctor’s orders.
A startup company, AdhereTech, seems to have a healthy alternative to this problem. It has created a wireless pill bottle that informs patients when they need to take their medication and also keeps track of things like dosage and usage.
It was launched at Hardware Battlefield at CES and it seems to be increasing regularity of medication taking as well as reducing the financial cost to the medical care system because of patients failing to take their medication. The pill bottle wirelessly connects to a cloud service, collecting usage data and reminding patients to take pills when they are supposed to.
This problem is one that health care professionals find troublesome. Elderly ones often forget to take required medication while others purposefully choose to omit dosages or take more than they are prescribed. This is not only expensive to the healthcare system but also potentially life threatening to patients.
Pharmaceutical companies are losing out but more importantly, patients are risking recurring health problems as a result of failing to take meds. AdhereTech’s bottle simply reminds patients to take medication on time and in the right dosage.
The AdhereTech bottle alerts patients at specific times, either through text message or phone call, or via a blinking light found on the bottle. The wireless CDMA chip sends data, showing when a bottle was opened and how many pills were removed.
The bottles stay charged for 45 days but are rechargeable. The idea is for pharmacists to provide the bottles for patients then swap them with a new bottle each month when new prescriptions are available.
AdhereTech plans to partner, particularly with expensive drug companies, to ensure that patients take the medication. Those drug companies will then provide the bottles to pharmacies who will then take care of the distribution.
[Image via tomorrow-lab]