New Advancement in Automated Medication Dispensing and Ordering

Pillo is a slightly creepy-looking form of artificial intelligence that uses facial recognition to dispense medication and apparently also automatically reorder medicine before it runs out.

Last May, I explained why pharmacists need to embrace technology that could put them out of a job. One such technology that could do so is Pillo, a slightly creepy-looking form of artificial intelligence that uses facial recognition to dispense medication and apparently also automatically reorder medicine before it runs out.

According to its fundraising campaign website on IndieGogo, Pillo can “answer your health and wellness questions, connect you directly with healthcare professionals, and securely manage your vitamins and medication; storing, dispensing, and even ordering refills when you need them.”

Photo Credit: Pillo Health

Pillo Health claims its robot can connect to users’ smartphones, store up to 250 pills at a time, hold a conversation with its owner(s), and will learn over time. The IndieGogo page says the company’s “in discussions with pharmacy partners to preload the tray so that, in the future, you can simply insert a new tray into Pillo every time you need to refill (every 2-4 weeks).” This implies a larger-scale commercial component to the endeavor, and I’m sure one of the larger chains will jump onboard as an early pioneer.

Early adopters of technology can reserve their Pillo now, but it will only be available for widespread use around this time next year.

I can already see both positive and negative implications of this advancement in automated medication dispensing and ordering. Certain patient populations who health care professionals are most concerned about taking their medications may be able to greatly benefit from this technology, but how will it affect the role of the community pharmacist?

I don’t want to share my views until I learn more, but what do you think? Please share your comments on Twitter @Pharmacy_Times.