IPS worked with AdhereTech to design and develop a second-generation smart pill bottle that would remind patients to take their medication and notify loved ones and healthcare providers when a dose is missed. The AdhereTech IoT smart pill bottle is now successfully being used by thousands of patients. Developing the bottle presented many design challenges and the lessons we learned from this initial undertaking can help guide others with similar projects for connected medical devices.
IPS’ Senior Director of Business Development, Gianfranco Bonanome recently shared his views on “Design Challenges Faced by Today’s IoT Medical Devices” in article in IoT Institute. You can view the article here.
The IoT Institute connects professionals in the IoT ecosystem and inspires them by providing real-world, actionable information on the latest IoT trends, analysis, and use-case studies for smart cities, the Industrial IoT, smart buildings and energy, and the innovators creating the IoT infrastructure.
Key design challenges for the AdhereTech smart pill bottle included:
As part of the design process, we worked to create a power-efficient design with more than six months of battery life. This challenge was critical for the new pill bottle and we had to make sure it exceeded the patient’s prescription duration without requiring battery recharging. The first-generation bottles only held a charge of about 45 days, so the pharmacists would have to swap them out for a newly charged bottle every month when the patient picked up refills.
Ease of use:
Since we knew many seniors would be using the new pill bottle, a key design goal for us was ease of use. The challenge was to design a patient-friendly bottle that was actually packed with dense electronics. To make sure it would be simple and worry-free to use, we designed it so that it doesn’t require the patient to connect to the Internet, plug it in to charge it, or download any software – all of that is done automatically.
Regulatory testing and requirements:
In addition to the smart pill bottle product design, we were responsible for facilitating the preliminary regulatory reviews and shepherded the design through FCC regulatory testing. This step is another important part of any IoT product design effort. Regulatory requirements and required certifications must be factored into the design. Because they are connected, IoT products must be tested for radiated emissions and susceptibility. Additionally, cellular carrier testing must be performed.
In the end, the use of IoT design principles helped the new AdhereTech smart pill bottle become a big success. Currently used by many top pharmaceutical companies and hospitals, these innovative smart pill bottles have been shown to improve medication adherence by an average of 20%.
Hear more from AdhereTech CEO Josh Stein and their smart pill bottle on IPS Radio on either iTunes or SoundCloud. Be sure to review, rate and subscribe to stay up to date on more interviews with clients, partners and employees!