UK design consultancy PDD has unveiled a new homecare concept designed to ensure older people fully comply with their medication regimes.
The concept, codenamed Memory Box and presented for the first time at the Medical Device Technology conference in Birmingham, guarantees prescribed medicines are taken in the right doses at the right time by delivering them via a convenient, userfriendly, timed carousel system containing cartridges pre-filled by the pharmacist.
The initiative is the fruit of a research project jointly undertaken with the Centre for Biomedical Engineering and the European Institute for Health and Medical Sciences, both part of the University of Surrey.
PDD’s proposed concept involves tablets being sealed by the pharmacist into rotating, subdivided cartridges so that each chamber in the cartridge contains the correct dosage for a particular time during the patient’s prescribed regime.
In use, the system alerts the patient at the appropriate time and opens up completely at the touch of a single button, leaving the correct dosage in an ergonomically friendly scoop. At the end of each cycle of a dosage regime (which could be monthly, weekly or even daily) the cartridge is simply replaced.
Once a month, the base unit is checked by the pharmacist who replaces the battery and can download data about how closely the patient has stuck to the treatment regime.
“Conventional solutions to the compliance problem are based on static medication trays, which sometimes have to be filled by a relative, and simply store tablets in often fiddly chambers that are just labelled with the day of the week,” said Alun Wilcox, a PDD Director.
“Our automated systems removes all burden from the patient: the pharmacist will load up the system, and the base unit will take care of the rest. Not only that, the tablets are vacuum-sealed so the medication stays fresh,“ he added.