Medication adherence and persistence are large problems in today's health world, especially with an aging population and an increase in the number of medications available. The best way current medical professionals and researches have to track prescription adherence is by tracking how often patients fill their medications at a pharmacy. This is a working method, but it doesn't provide granular data about the patients habits and true behavior. It also doesn't give the patient a reliable way to track their own medication adherence.

We want to help patients stay on track with their medications with an easy-to-use, inexpensive, smart solution. The goal is to make the product fit naturally into the user's current routine. To do this, we use OCR to read the user's prescription information and require minimal setup with the physical hardware. Patients can use their existing pill bottles, and exchanging bottles is easy.

What it does

Our hardware keeps track of when the user has taken their medication, and automatically syncs with an iOS app. We can use this data to provide the patient with reminders, a history of their medication adherence, and list of their current medications and schedule. The data can also be shared with physicians and researchers to study the benefits of medications.

To set up the medication tracker, users simply need to scan their current perception bottle. The app reads the information, including the name of the medication, the dosage, and the frequency of dosage. This information is used to send the user reminders, track adherence, and visually display this data to the user.

The user can view their adherence data in multiple different ways. The app includes a today widget, which displays the previously taken dosage and the next dosage. This information is quickly accessible on the lock screen of the phone so users don't have to open the entire app to check if they've taken their daily medication. The main app presents three separate views, the today view, the week view, and a monthly view. This allows the user to easily compare their adherence over a period of time, and motivate them to achieve perfect performance.

How we built it

The app is built with Swift and Xcode, and communicates with a Raspberry Pi that tracks the pill bottle through a Go server. The pill bottle's position is tracked using a magnetic sensor, which determines if the bottle is lifted out of its container. This information is sent to the server and analyzed by the iOS app. All sensitive medical information is saved locally on the user's app.

Challenges we ran into

The largest challenges were hardware-related. Finding an easy, safe, consistent way to measure when the user takes their medications proved difficult. We're happy with our magnetic sensor solution, and know that it can be improved in the future with a more powerful magnet.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're happy to have built a working product! We created a working prototype that solves our original goal, and can be useful in the real world.

What we learned

We learned a lot about medications and current research into the effects of medication adherence. We also learned how to design for people other than ourselves, having to think about the needs and priorities of various parties, and come up with a solution that would be beneficial for a wide audience.

What's next for MedTracker

User testing! We would like to try the product in a real-world setting and collect data to improve the product. Hopefully we can continue to refine the prototype and make the app available for anyone who wants to use it!

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