I was tired of forgetting whether I took my medications or not, causing me to miss a dose, or in some cases doubling up on a dose when I shouldn't. I needed an easy way to track the fact that I took my meds, and the ability to easily recall when I took them if I wasn't sure. And I wanted a way to be reminded to take them if I forgot.
What it does
Pill Time solves the problems that inspired me to make it. To track the time I take my medications, I simply say to Alexa, "I took my meds". To recall when I last took my meds, I simply ask, "When did I last take my meds?" If I miss taking my meds, I get a text message reminding me to take them.
How I built it
The processing is relatively simple. I used node.js to drive the overall logic, and I used php and a database server I already had to handle the database work. I used Yahoo's geolocation service through YQL to look up timezone based on zip code. And finally, I used Amazon's text messaging service in AWS to send out text messages.
Challenges I ran into
No major challenges to speak of. Getting the skill certified took a little more effort than I expected, but generally the feedback was accurate and beneficial.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I wanted to create a voice-driven app that did not depend on a web site for managing settings. And I didn't want to burden the user with too much setup. I think this was accomplished and the interaction is fairly conversational.
What I learned
Session management and session status and object passing is critical to maintain a good natural conversation.
What's next for Pill Time
I'm not sure what's next for Pill Time. I guess it depends on what people think of it and what they see as next steps.