UAH Scientists Develop “Smart” Pill Bottle

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A new way to measure and track drug taking...

A new advancement in medicine is taking shape locally on the University of Alabama in Huntsville campus and it could one day help you or your lovedones.

A “smart” pill bottle, designed to track how and when people take medicine, can notify someone when it’s time to take a pill or alert them when they miss a dose.

Developed and patented at UAH, Dr. Emil Jovanov, headed up the project. He showed WHNT News 19 the early prototypes, which consisted of standard orange pill bottles rigged with a number of different wires and measurement technologies.

Instead of weights, or a mechanism to monitor individual pills, the "smart" pill bottle relies on volume measurements to monitor use. The technology has been repackaged into a sleeker design by AdhereTech, a New York-based company now advancing the product for possible commercial sale.

Jovanov said the "smart" pill bottle addresses a major problem in medicine called non-compliance - when people fail to take drugs properly. "If you don't follow that prescribed regimen, then you will have peaks and valleys and that will significantly influence your disease and your physical condition."

The pill bottle is designed to sync up wirelessly to a smartphone or with a home network, allowing lovedones - or even a physician - to monitor a patient. That's potential comfort for millions with elderly family members.

"This approach [to pill bottle design]," Jovanov explains, "Is very simple and allows for mass production... for very inexpensive implementation."

AdereTech is about to start clinical tests of the bottles with the hope that they'll be on store shelves within two years.