Our inspiration came from forgetting to take necessary medicine everyday and sometimes ended up taking twice the dosage that can be life threatening in some cases because of over dosage. Current systems can monitor your pill intake frequency through indirect methods which can either provide incorrect information or information which is not up to date.
What is Pill Pal?
Pill Pal is a smart pill bottle connected to the cloud that will always remind you to take your medicine on time! It will also keep your healthcare professionals in touch by sending them alerts if you forget to take your medicine, or have stopped taking it without their consulting etc. This will allow them to help you, the patient by adjusting things necessary for the patient. Pill Pal provides you and you trusted healthcare provider with up-to-date information straight from your medicine cabinet.
How Pill Pal Was Built
We started with the ubiquitous pill bottle and attached an array of sensors and led indicators to a Spark Core micro-controller which updates your usage in the cloud. The Spark Core has wifi capabilities allowing us to connect it to the internet and not be tied down by local network. The partnering Pill Pal app was built on the Android platform using java that was a portal between the patient and their doctor setting up alert system and reminders. As a bonus, any users which own a Pebble smartwatch can receive timely reminders when they've forgotten to take their medication.
Challenges We Had to Overcome
Some of the challenges we ran into were communicating with the Spark Core hardware. Currently the proprietary Spark Core android api is broken and thus we had to implement as much functionality as we needed using the Spark Core rest api. Lastly, setting up a system where the various smart devices of patients and healthcare providers can synchronize and share data in real time.
Accomplishments We're Proud Of
Our team is proud of being able to overcome the challenges we faced during building Pill Pal. The \accomplishment we're most proud of was making the alert system work in Pill Pal that alerts both the patients and the health professional in case medication mishap occurs. We were proud to not only finish the app on time, but with had just enough extra (not really, but we squeezed it in) time to add Pebble functionality to our system.
What We Learned
We learned better use of external Android API's as well as connecting hardware to the cloud directly through wifi and controlling it using a mobile app. We learned how to use the Spark Microcontroller, and implement a rest client in android using the excellent retrofit library. We learned a little too much information about each other.
The Future of Pill Pal
Our future goals for Pill Pal is to make it even better by adding new features that will find patient behaviors based on their medicational habits and keeping health professionals as well as health providers in touch with their patients.