Cool Technology of the Week

Before my trip to Japan, I attended the New England Healthcare Institute Medication Adherence Expert Roundtable on Thursday July 23rd, 2009. The purpose of the roundtable was to prioritize activities that would encourage patients to be more compliant with the medications, especially those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, congestive heart failure and COPD. Recommendations from the group included better patient education, enhanced use of IT such as medication reconciliation, and healthcare reform which ensures clinicians have the time and incentives to coordinate and manage all medications for their patients.

One technology that we discussed was an intelligent pill bottle for the home from and it’s my cool technology of the week. Using technology similar to the Ambient Orb, the intelligent pill bottle flashes to indicate when it’s time to take the medication inside the bottle. When the bottle is opened it sends telemetry back to a portal which can be used to track patient medication adherence.

The device includes a small wireless access point for the home, making the device plug and play. No cell phone plan, configuration or special software is needed – just an internet connection.

A pill bottle that notifies the patient when medications are to be taken and informs the clinician when medications are actually taken.

That’s cool!

John D. Halamka, MD, MS, is CIO of the CareGroup Health System, CIO and Dean for Technology at Harvard Medical School, Chairman of the New England Health Electronic Data Interchange Network (NEHEN), CEO of MA-SHARE, Chair of the US Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), and a practicing emergency physician. He blogs regularly at Life as a Healthcare CEO, where this post first appeared.

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