Innovation That Matters

Internet-connected pill reminder caps

Work & Lifestyle

No medicine can do its job if it’s not taken on the right schedule, yet only about half of people with chronic diseases adhere faithfully to their dosing regimen, according to the World Health Organization. Aimed at improving that statistic, GlowCaps are a line of electronic pill caps that use multiple means to ensure patients take their medicine when they should. GlowCaps, which are from Cambridge, Mass.-based Vitality, fit on standard 20 dram medication vials and feature a small computer that illuminates the pill cap and plays a melody at medication time. To set up the basic GlowCap Solo, now available through Amazon for USD 29.95, users simply insert the included watch batteries at their daily dose time (the GlowCap Solo is designed just for once-a-day medications). Then, every day thereafter at that time, the GlowCap flashes a visual reminder to attract the user’s attention. If the bottle is not opened within an hour, the device periodically plays a short melody for another hour after that. What’s even more interesting, however, is the next version of the line—still forthcoming—dubbed GlowCaps Connect. Designed specifically for managing chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and depression, where daily medications are critical, GlowCaps Connect goes beyond just using light and sound to include internet connectivity as well for a range of new reminder mechanisms. A reminder schedule can be set up for more than one dose or medication per day, and when patients forget to take one—after the reminder melody has been played—the caps can be set to trigger a phone call to remind them. GlowCaps Connect can also be programmed to send weekly updates to a friend, family member or caregiver, and each month the service sends a report to the patient’s doctor, thereby increasing accountability and rewarding good performance with coupons and incentives. Finally, GlowCaps Connect will also coordinate with the patient’s pharmacy for automatic prescription refills. No word yet on when GlowCaps Connect will be released. Not coincidentally, Vitality is led by David Rose, who was formerly founder and CEO at Ambient Devices, the maker of internet-embedded products we mentioned in a story last year about home energy monitors. It’s all about bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds—which just so happens to be the topic of our sister site’s OFF=ON briefing. Read up, plug in, and start forging some connections! (Related: Mir:ror gives physical objects digital meaningHome security with an energy-monitoring twist.) Spotted by: Jochem Donkers



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