Not taking medications properly leads to unnecessary hospital admissions, illness, and even deaths. It also costs the health care system billions of dollars every year, in costs both direct (for example: hospitalisations) and indirect (for example: lost productivity). For example, about 5% of hospital admissions result directly from not taking medications as recommended.
Also overdose of medications (both intentional and unintentional) causes around 190,000 deaths per million people worldwide. Most affected people of unintentional medical over dosage or under dosage are people who have -
- Parkinson's disease
- People too busy with their day to day schedule.
- New moms
Also this can be used by in home nurses and the family members of the above mentioned groups to keep a check on the intake of the medicines.
What it does
Instead of remembering all the medicine names, their respective intake dates, amount and the next date of intake, we only need to remember Alexa, open Med Pal. What all things can it do?
First of all add the medicine that you consume
Adding of medicine to the schedule: add [medicine-name]
Adding the amount of medicine to be taken: I need to take 2 drops
Frequency of the medications: I will be taking it every 3 days
Number of days for which it will be taken: for 15 days
To check your today's schedule of meds: what do i need to take today
To confirm that the medicine has been consumed: took my [medicine name] today
To know which medicines are scheduled in the future (so you can plan on buying them if they are finished): list off my meds for thirteenth august two thousand eighteen
To create a report of the missed medicines and taken medicines (Will help doctors and caregivers take precautions before taking any further steps): give me a report for august 7 2018
To reset: reset everything
We also added features like frequency of intake of medicines and the number of days one has to take it so that the amount of medicine that needs to be bought can be calculated, hence try to prevent over dosage of medicines.
The family members and/or caregivers can also generate a report regarding the medicines that weren't taken and consult the doctors on what to do next. In this way, the dosage can be altered (if needed) and thus prevent under dosage of medicines. It also helps the family members to keep a check on the person who is under medical supervision and also as a self-check for general public.
How I built it
We built it using AWS Lambda and Dynamodb. Also we needed to scrape off the medicine names from multiple websites for the slot value containing the medicine names. Dynamodb acts as memory for Med Pal. We also had to keep a check for medicine taken or not which played a vital role in report generation and day to day medicine schedule. The medicine names were taken from various public data sets which were then used in Slot Values.
Challenges I ran into
The main challenges were handling sessions and adding the report generation part along with using a flag for keeping a track of whether the medicine was taken or not. Also laws governing publication of such skills.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
It works and it got accepted in the Alexa skill store in US, UK, India, Canada and Australia. :-)
What's next for Med Pal
We really want to add a feature which allows doctors to keep a track of their patients and send them a report accordingly and also to book an appointments and visits to the doctors.