Smart Pill Bottles Help Patients Take Medication Properly

Julie Shenkman
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Thanks to advances in medical technology, patients have a way to stay on top of their prescription medications. The idea behind smart pill bottles from Adhere Tech is to make it easier for people to track their meds. Up to half of all meds prescribed for chronic disease are not taken as directed. It's a problem that costs the health care industry $290 billion per year in unfilled prescriptions and non-adherence to prescriptions.

What Smart Pill Bottles Do

Adhere Tech is one of many medical technology companies looking to change how patients take their medicine, and smart pill bottles are one way to accomplish that. Each bottle contains wireless technology that connects to the internet or a smartphone. The bottle monitors when someone opens it, and it sends an automated phone call to a landline phone or a text message to a cellphone to remind the patient to take the medication. Some bottles can even chime or light up to indicate it's time to take medicines.

Additionally, each bottle sends the data to health care providers to help practitioners monitor the patient's care regimen. If someone misses a dose, caregivers and providers receive messages. In some cases, the bottle's software may recommend a medical intervention if someone misses enough doses. This is particularly helpful for when patients need life-saving medications.

The top of an Adhere Tech bottle works like an ordinary bottle with a child-proof cap. The rechargeable battery in the bottom of the bottle lasts up to six months on a single charge. There is no set up for patients to do once they get the bottle, as the patient automatically begins receiving alerts. The compact, high-tech solution comes in handy for patients who may not remember to take medications on a regular basis.

Elderly Customers

Adhere Tech claims this isn't a high-tech solution to a problem. The average customer's age is 70, and many older people aren't savvy when it comes to technology. That's why Adhere Tech uses several intervention methods to alert people about any wayward activity. Interventions are actually working, according to the company. Patients actually remember to take their meds because smart pill bottles trains them to do so.

Saving Money, Saving Lives

The reason smart pill bottles save lives is that taking medications prevent worse medical complications. People who don't take their prescriptions have a greater likelihood of ending up in the hospital or long-term care facility. This can increase someone's cost of medical care and decrease a person's quality of life.

Advanced pill bottles also offer a way for hospitals to monitor patients without human involvement. Again, this efficiency saves money for health care systems and enhances patient care. Adhere Tech wants its smart bottles distributed all over the world. As the Adhere Tech's costs come down, health care companies can expect greater cost effectiveness when investing in this technology.

Smart pill bottles are just one more way technology helps patients help themselves. This is especially true of the elderly, a demographic that typically needs the most medical care compared to other age groups.

Photo courtesy of Ben Schonewille at


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