Skip to main content
CNN.com International
>

BREAKING NEWS

British military aircraft carry out first airstrikes against ISIS positions in Iraq, Britain's defense ministry says.
Click here to skip to main content.
The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ON TV
 
 
 
 
 
 
Technology

Medication reminder for elderly

By Julie Clothier for CNN

story.existing.jpg
Existing medication management systems are complicated.
VOTE
What has been the most significant invention or discovery of the past 50 years?  VOTE NOW
NEXT GENERATION
Young designers create super computer for drugs industry
A shirt that detects if the wearer falls could make life easier for the elderly
A $19,000 rocket is about to go on sale in Japan
A German brewmaster comes up with a novel way to make beer
A hands-free mouse could help disabled computer users
• Read more Next Generation stories
SPECIAL REPORT
Find out how technology, science and invention are shaping your world with Explorers
DESIGNS FOR LIFE
James Dyson on the Mini as a design classic and other leading figures on the inventions and discoveries that changed their lives.

LONDON, England (CNN) -- It is a common scenario: you are on medication but you forget to take it -- or worse, you cannot remember whether you took the pill you were due to take an hour ago.

A design graduate has come up with a solution to the problem by using smart card technology, which prompts patients to take the correct medication at the correct time.

London-based Katrin Svabo Bech, 22, plans to market her invention, called PillAid and aimed particularly at helping the elderly, to the pharmaceutical industry.

Bech's creation involves a smart card and a dispenser. She developed it during her final year studying design at London's Brunel University.

"It's an automated medicated management system for elderly people, aimed to improve communication between all groups involved in the process -- including GPs (general practitioners), hospital doctors, pharmacists, the patients themselves and carers," she told CNN.

When the patient goes to the doctor, they hand them a personalized smart card.

The doctor has a smart card reader and loads any prescription information onto the card.

The patient then takes the card to their pharmacist, who also has a smart card reader, and using information on the card, dispenses the prescribed medication into a dispenser.

The dispenser has a tiny microchip inside, which can read information on the card when it is inserted into the dispenser.

It automatically alerts the patient when it is time to take their medication and informs them whether they need to take their pills with food or water.

"The patient's GP can also have a look at the smart card to see whether they have been taking their medication at regular intervals," Bech said.

Bech came up with the idea after visiting her grandmother, who had recently had a stroke, last summer.

"She was on a lot of medication and I thought it would be great to create something that could make her life easier, so that she could keep her independence ... so she could feel confident in herself."

Bech is due to start a Masters in strategic healthcare design early next year.

Jim Kennedy, of Britain's Royal College of General Practitioners, said any initiative which helps patients to take the appropriate levels of medication is welcome.

But he said the device would need to be thoroughly tested before being used on patients and cost may be an issue.

"There are a number of inexpensive methods patients can use as a means of assisting them in remembering to take their medication."

These include writing down their medication on a calendar or getting someone to send them a text message to remind them, he added.


Story Tools
Click Here to try 4 Free Trial Issues of Time! cover
Top Stories
Burgers, lattes and CD burners
Top Stories
EU 'crisis' after summit failure

CNN US
On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.