The average adherence rate (the degree to which patients correctly follow prescription instructions) for medicines taken only once daily is nearly 80 percent, compared to about 50 percent for treatments that must be taken 4 times a day. As many as 75 percent of patients (and 50 percent of chronically ill patients) fail to adhere to, or comply with physician prescribed treatment regimens.
What it does
EzPill allows for the automation of of medicine management. When users get a new prescription, they open up our mobile app and enter prescription info such as dosage times and amounts. Then when it comes time for the user to take their prescription, EzPill automatically dispenses the correct dosage and notifies the user through text and the speaker connected to EzPill. When prescriptions are running row, users are notified to get ready to refill their prescription. Users and caregivers can also take advantage of the web app to view current medications and their respective counts, which are updated live.
How we built it
EzPill is run off a Raspberry Pi, which controls two servos which are responsible for dispensing the pills. When the android app is used to enter a new prescription, Twilio's Sync client is used to update all devices connected to the EzPill (Web app, Android app, and EzPill). When it comes time to dispense a dosage, the servos spin up and dispense a pill from the respective drum and the pill count is updated. Twilio's text message API is used to notify the user about the dosage being dispensed.
Challenges we ran into
We originally struggled with figuring out which IoT platform to base everything on. We tried out two systems, but due to the amount of security/authentication required to use the service, we decided to try out Twilio's new Sync platform. Another problem we faced was that we were unable to 3D print our enclosure, which led to us having to make it out of cardboard. Finally, we continue to face the problem of dispensing a single pill 100% of the time. Only having cardboard to make the pill discs out of, they were not cut accurately enough to not have the chance of two pills being caught in the opening. This can easily be solved by laser cutting discs with the exact dimensions that we need.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of getting a mix of hardware and software so communicate and stay in sync with each other. We are also proud of having a functioning prototype made out of the minimal resources we had to build the pill dispenser.
What we learned
We learned how to use Twilio's Sync API to communicate between different systems running different languages. We also learned how make real time web pages using SignalR. Finally, we learned how to control continuous servos and manage their spin speed and time.