Elucid Digital Health has shrunk its smart pill bottle to a patented dispenser cap which can be made to screw on to any pill bottle.
With interest from three major pharmas for use in clinical trials and two others who want to use it for high value medicines Elucid Digital Health is planning further trials to show that the new dispensing smart cap provides 100% reliability.
Pill Connect, was developed to prompt patients to take their medications on time and to send a report back to the doctor to advise them of their patients’ adherence record. The prompt comes from an app on their mobile phone which when acknowledged ejects a pill or capsule from the bottle through the dispensing cap. Should the patient not wish to take their medication due to illness or an adverse reaction they can respond through the app.
The system provides an adherence record that allows for an immediate intervention by an automated text or phone call should the app not be activated.
This could help in clinical trials where poor compliance can compromise the validity of the trial, as compliance can decline over time. The Pill Connect system allows monitors to know when this happens and provides the opportunity to intervene and talk to the person to see what can be done to help them become more compliant. The monitor has access to a complete dashboard covering the whole trial so that everyone involved can be advised in real time of the rate of compliance or issues which effect compliance.
Elucid Digital Heath CEO James Burnstone said: “We believe that reducing the pill dispensing mechanism from a bottle to a cap means that any pharma can now use the Pill Connect system without having to make changes to their existing production lines. While we have not yet determined a final price it will be very cost effective in reducing trial failures which can result in delays and failures costing millions.”
How the Pill Connect system works
- Preparation – The patient is shown in person or by video how the Pill Connect system works and how to load the app onto their mobile phone. The patient is either sent or collects the bottle of pills or capsules plus the Pill Connect cap. The patient then unscrews the cap of the pill bottle and screws in the smart cap.
- Patient use – The patient receives a reminder to take one pill or capsule or more via the app at a pre-determined time. The patient takes off the lid responds to the reminder and the medication is ejected from the bottle and the data is sent to a control centre.
- Side effects – If the patient is unwell or believes that they are suffering from a side effect of the medication they have the option to not take the pill and through the app tell the investigator or doctor why.
- Further prompts – If the patient does not respond or has a reason why they can’t take the medication, a text or call can be made, automatically or manually, to prompt adherence or find out more.
- Data – The doctor, monitor or administrator has data on each patient’s dispensing pattern.
- Safety – The smart cap is locked outside the prescribed times to prevent double dosing. The patient can unscrew the cap if they have left their phone behind or it is not charged. Should that occur a message will be sent – when connected again – to the monitors.