Inspiration

Having a grandfather diagnosed with Alzheimer's I've had to watch as he loses his understanding of the world around him as well as my aunt having to spend most of her time tending to him due to the prohibitive costs of an in house nurse. In the past we've had issues with him also taking multiples of his pills leading to very ill effects. After telling my team about this we began to think....how can we help the helpless feel a little less so while mitigating the effect on their family.

What it does

We designed a web app allowing doctors or primary caregivers to access a calendar displaying dates, times, and frequencies at which pills need to be taken. We then made a 'smart pillbox' that is designed to keep patients from accessing their pills outside of the regular dosage times.

How we built it

We built our smart pillbox using a Raspberry Pi 3, on which we ran a python script. The script makes a request to the back-end which we wrote and updates the smart pillbox with a new schedule. We also 3D printed the pillbox, which was attach to the stepper motor. We used the motor to control the weekday, which were represented by each of the 7 sections on the pillbox.

Challenges we ran into

We had some difficulyt getting the stepper motor to work with our project, as well as scrapping our original plan to build it with an Intel Edison in favor of a Raspberry Pi 3.

What we learned

I had personally never built a project with a Raspberry Pi 3 nor had I worked with hardware which made the entire experience very enjoyable and educational. -Alexander

I learned that building something with hardware is hard when you have limited hardware and when you don't plan it ahead of time. One thing I never worked with was using 3D printers, which was fun to work with and design the 3D parts for the project. -Khushpreet

I learned a lot about jQuery and the front-end calendar library, FullCalendar. I worked on using ajax calls and formatting JSON to create calendar events and schedules. -Chris

I have used most of the tools to make other projects, the stepper motor made it really difficult using the Intel Edison, so we had to resort to the Raspberry Pi, in the future I would like to learn more on the Intel Edison. - Brian

I learned a lot about Raspberry Pi 3 and how to interface it with other devices. I was able to learn how to build a project and to have it relay to a back-end. Which made this experience very educational for me. -Sou

What's next for VITAL

We plan on bettering the quality of our ''smart pillbox'' in hopes of creating an affordable device usable by a wide variety of individuals regardless of their socioeconomic position.

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