Your health. On time.
SMARThex is an integrated pill dispenser and app system that addresses the medication non-adherence epidemic.
Working with community partner, Amara.
Picture of the SMARThex device.
logo of SMARThex
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
Date You Started Your Project Started
December / 20 / 2018
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
Everyone has made the simple mistake of forgetting to take their medication. For some, this blunder could be their last. Every hour, 14 lives are lost due to medication non-adherence. In fact, two out of every three people who take medication are not adhering to the regimen prescribed by their doctor, which affects around 82.1 million Americans today. We want to ensure that people are following their medication schedules to lead healthy lives.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We wanted to create a personal health device that could be easily used by people of all ages. Our solution is SMARThex, the Simple Medication Adherence Remembrance Tool, which ensures that everyone can take their medication on time, every time. It combats the epidemic by boosting adherence through a user-friendly automatic pill dispenser and app with a notification and alarm system.
Our dispenser is a modular device that can hold up to six different types of medications. It has an embedded Bluetooth microcontroller to enable connection between the physical device and the app.
Users can input their medication schedule into the app. At their set times, the four-layered reminder system (a push notification, alarm, text, and call) is triggered until the user verifies that they have taken the pill. Then, the dispenser will release the appropriate dosage.
To confirm, the user needs to scan an NFC tag on top of the dispenser with their phone to record that they are taking their correct dosage at the appropriate time. This creates data of their medication adherence patterns that can be used by doctors or pharmacists for later analysis.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
We were motivated to combat the issue of medication non-adherence after learning about our friend Amara who suffers from hypothyroidism一a condition that slows down metabolic processes and lowers production of the thyroid hormone. If she forgets to take her medication on time, she suffers from symptoms, such as severe headaches and fainting. Too many occurrences can prove to be fatal. Currently, Amara’s mom reminds her to take her pills, but when she goes to college next year, she will not have anyone to remind her. Putting Amara’s situation in perspective, we realized that this issue affects a substantial amount of people on a global scale. We believe our product will help reduce the number of victims.
4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
Our product is user-friendly, allowing our buyers to customize their own medication schedules to easily access their pills on time, every time. When a patient like Amara first used our product, she was prompted with a set of instructions on how to navigate the application. Her first objective was to upload her medication schedule into the app. She takes two different pills twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, so she input her dosage accordingly. She then switched her focus over to the physical device. Since she takes two medications, she only attached two of six possible modules, one for each pill. When it was time for her to take her medication, she got a notification on her phone. The medicine was finally dispensed when she used her phone to scan the NFC tag on the dispenser. Since she was punctual, the remaining alarm, texting, and calling layers were disabled.
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
As a product intended to be put it in the homes of every non-adherent patient in America, SMARThex will retail for $179, a full $100 below one of our closest competitors and well below the average price of other medication management systems available online, ensuring that our product is as affordable as it is effective.
Several of our competitors, such as PillDrill and MedMinder, seek to create effective medication management solutions, but SMARThex is the only one that combines, cross-platform cloud connectivity, portability, and affordability.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
Our project has already made a substantial difference in the community. Our community partner, Amara, utilizes our product on a daily basis to help her take her medications on time. Additionally, we have communicated with a local pharmacy, ACORx, to help integrate our system with what their delivery service. We plan to also partner with several senior centers in the area to help provide the elderly with a sense of independence and control over their health. We would like to further make an impact by rolling it out to a larger audience of people. We need to begin communication with medical lawyers to attain the appropriate clearances on our device.
Our ultimate goal is to make this product into a household name so everyone has access to our solution for the epidemic of medical adherence.
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
We have numerous aspirations when considering the future for SMARThex. Our next steps include creating a website to advertise our product, bringing our production costs down by mass producing the pill dispensers, and reducing the device’s footprint. Additionally, our app currently only works on Android devices, so we want to add iOS support to broaden our potential customer base. Our goal in the end is to bring our system out to market, potentially selling our device online and partnering with pharmaceutical or insurance companies, with an accessible price for a wide range of consumers.
9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?
10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
How did you hear about this challenge?