University Innovators Develop IoT-Enabled Smart Pill Dispensers
University students developed an IoT-enabled pill dispensers to modernize pill management systems using Microchip’s AVR IoT board.
Learn how IoT-enabled pill dispensers leverage Microchip’s AVR-IoT WA board and MPLAB® X IDE to help in delivering the wireless connection, simplicity, and effectivity to the connection process for embedded applications connecting to AWS.
One of the projects of the Makers UPV team was the development of an intelligent pill dispenser prototype, which leveraged Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT connectivity to deliver medications to patients in their homes while enabling healthcare professionals to configure dosages and monitor their distribution. This development has stemmed from the desire to fully improve the process of pill management to ease the burden on the elderly, family, and medical professionals. These improvements would be replacing the manual efforts of refilling canisters as well as the need for checking quantity by the healthcare provider themselves, this led the team to look at automation and analyze how it could provide solutions to this process from healthcare professional to end consumer. Their solution involves remote dosage control, better user interfaces, smart sorting mechanisms, cloud connectivity, and real-time reporting.
More Insight into Polypharmacy
Over the last decade, there has been an outcry to remedy the growing problem of polypharmacy, even as the term itself lacks a universal definition. Polypharmacy commonly describes the instances where a person is taking multiple medications to manage multiple ailments. Experts can’t seem to agree on the number of simultaneous prescriptions that would define polypharmacy, but the management of coexisting conditions by multiple healthcare providers often leads to a situation where each patient’s complete medication snapshot is unclear.
Elderly persons are at a greater risk for Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) because of metabolic changes associated with aging and the often-disconnected clinical settings where medicines are prescribed. During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed a new level of clarity as caregivers from across the healthcare spectrum—hospital clinicians, doctors, telehealth practitioners, primary care physicians, corporate clinicians, nursing home professionals, pharmacists, home care professionals and family caregivers—realized how difficult it was to monitor and dispense medicines during a period of lockdowns. Home delivery of pharmaceuticals from lowest-cost Internet sources added an additional disconnect.