Smart Pill Bottle Helps Patients Manage Medications
Pillsy, a smart pill bottle and mobile app, is the latest device in the quest to help patients and their loved ones manage medications.
Every pharmacist knows that medication adherence is a huge problem. This problem doesn’t only affect patients who are elderly or who are taking multiple medications. The reality is that it affects anyone who is busy and takes a supplement, vitamin, or medication of any kind—or has a loved one who does. That’s almost everyone!
Pillsy, a smart pill bottle and mobile app, is the latest device in the quest to help patients and their loved ones manage medications. Launching on May 2, 2017, Pillsy is an app-controlled pill cap that provides reminders when a dose is missed and senses when the medication bottle is opened and closed.
Anyone who has spent time caring for a loved one on medications—or who takes medications themselves—knows how easy it can be to forget a dose. That same forgetfulness can also lead to double-dosing when you think you forgot to take your medication, but actually already took it. Yikes!
Approximately 50% of Americans who take prescription medication don’t take their medication properly, according to a written statement from Pillsy. The company estimates that this non-adherence costs the health care system about $300 billion each year in wasteful spending due to excess hospitalizations and related care.
The founders of Pillsy said that their product can help “prevent these losses by streamlining the pill-taking process.” According to the statement, other features of the device include:
- Family sharing. Loved ones can receive notifications when a family member misses a dose and access weekly reports.
- Double-dose prevention. Pillsy can send alerts when multiple does are taken too quickly.
- Pill tracking. By keeping track of the number of remaining pills, Pillsy lets patients know when it’s time to order a medication refill.
- Nutrient tracking. Pillsy can be used to track the nutrient level that you receive from vitamins and syncs with Apple Health.
The Pillsy team expects to ship its first round of products in the early summer of 2017. Although this may be the newest medication management gadget out there, it certainly isn’t the first. In 2015, I wrote about Lumma, the first medication dispenser to be hosted on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
As more devices that promote medication adherence come to market, it is important for pharmacists to stay up to date. Recommending these devices to patients and their families who can benefit from them is one more way that pharmacists can promote medication adherence—and patient health.