Monday, August 24, 2009

Cool Technology of the Week

Before my trip to Japan, I attended the New England Healthcare Institute Medication Adherence Expert Roundtable on Thursday July 23rd, 2009. The purpose of the roundtable was to prioritize activities that would encourage patients to be more compliant with the medications, especially those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, congestive heart failure and COPD. Recommendations from the group included better patient education, enhanced use of IT such as medication reconciliation, and healthcare reform which ensures clinicians have the time and incentives to coordinate and manage all medications for their patients.

One technology that we discussed was an intelligent pill bottle for the home from rxvitality.com and it's my cool technology of the week. Using technology similar to the Ambient Orb, the intelligent pill bottle flashes to indicate when it's time to take the medication inside the bottle. When the bottle is opened it sends telemetry back to a portal which can be used to track patient medication adherence.

The device includes a small wireless access point for the home, making the device plug and play. No cell phone plan, configuration or special software is needed - just an internet connection.

A pill bottle that notifies the patient when medications are to be taken and informs the clinician when medications are actually taken.

That's cool!

9 comments:

Bernz said...

I have to be a "homeboy" and point out that they're based here in MA, where it seems that many of the best innovations in Healthcare IT are taking place.

Bill said...

If I understand this correctly, it shows that a tablet has been removed from the bottle, not that it has actually been ingested.
How do you solve the last part of that last step in the procss?

ZephyrProcess said...

If ingestion compliance is required, I'd recommend 7x24 endoscopy...

More seriously, this specific device proves most helpful when there can be a reasonable expectation of patient good will/intent to comply, e.g., when the obstacle is forgetfulness or inconvenience.

When the patient may wish actively to avoid taking the medication--e.g., patients with bi-polar disorder who dislike their flattened affect when taking medication, or alcoholic patients skirting antabuse--then monitoring actual ingestion would prove worthwhile.

Bob said...

I believe Jersey Shore Medical Center may be using them. Let me know if you want to to talk to the CIO.

GreenLeaves said...

Judging by the demo, it will even call you if you forget to replace the lid to restart the timer.

I could see that this system would work for many families with active or elderly 'forgetfuls'.

Practical technology indeed.

Heather said...

Another option is Nabaztag, even cuter than Ambient Orb:
http://www.nabaztag.com/en/m-3-nabaztag-what-does-he-do.html

Can also be used to monitor medication compliance using RFID tags.

And as an added bonus, my kids adore our new electronic "pet".

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