A Connected Medication Dispenser for Modern Healthcare
Advisor: Barbara Anthony
As the elderly population grows and at-home care rises, the need for more efficient and automated processes will increase. Technology can already handle one aspect of patient care: medication administration. Smart home technology can allow us to automatically dispense and track prescriptions. This project sought to prove this was now possible with off the shelf components by building a prototype medication dispenser. Early on the project focused on creating a device small enough to not stand out in a home setting. The ideal size was smaller than a tabletop coffee machine and the final prototype meets that requirement nicely. After getting the main function working, the ability to dispense individual medication, attention was directed to integrating the device with other smart home appliances. After a series of false starts, the device is now able to send text notifications to the user’s phone as well as their smart home speaker. Finally, an NFC/RFID reader was attached to allow the use of wireless identification bands in authenticating users. While this implementation is still being tweaked, it allows a user to simply swipe their wrist over the device to receive medication. Personalized wristbands make sure only authorized users receive medication. Although the prototype still has some kinks to work out I’m excited by what it can do and what I’ve learned throughout the process.