Just at the time of life when your memory starts to go, the doc starts prescribing more pills. Is it time for the purple one now, and did you or did you not take the oblong white one this morning? Aargh!
Missing the occasional pill might not kill you, but it could be life-threatening for your parents. Oldsters are often on as many as 30 pills a day, all calibrated to interact with each other. Getting the doses confused can lead to cascading problems including drug-induced dementia and plunging blood pressure.
And then, there's your daughter. Missing two birth control pills in a row could be a life-changing mistake, one whose consequences she might not be ready for.
A new product could make it easier to remember your meds, and also more fun.
GlowCaps are internet-connected prescription bottle caps. They fit standard prescription bottles available at Walgreens and other retail pharmacies. Inside the GlowCap is a wireless chip that enables four services. Collectively, the services help people stick with their prescription regimen.
The wirelessly connected bottle cap glows when it's time to take a pill. You can add a wireless reminder light plugs that plugs into an electrical outlet that pulses orange when it's time to take a pill.
GlowCaps sense when the pill bottle is opened and wirelessly relay their status to Vitality's secure network. If the bottle is not opened two hours after a scheduled dose, you get an automatic reminder telephone call that says, "It's time to take the pill in your green GlowCap."
You can keep track of how well you or your family member did, thanks to a weekly emailed report. You can have it emailed to yourself, a caregiver, friend or another family member. You also get a monthly printed report that can be sent to your doctor, as well.
It can even call with refill reminders and connect you to the pharmacy in time to replenish.
GlowCaps are selling on Amazon for $99, and you also need to pay a monthly fee of around $35 for connectivity.
A study conducted for Vitality, maker of GlowCaps, found a 27 percent increase in medication adherence for patients using internet connected medication packaging and feedback services. That's not a huge lift for the price, but that one out of four extra times when you took your scheduled pill could make all the difference in your health or that of your mom or dad.
Besides, think how impressed your techie friends will be when you pull this out of your pocket.