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Individual Pill Monitoring System for Improved Medication Adherence Accuracy

Venus, Brian Babes (2011) Individual Pill Monitoring System for Improved Medication Adherence Accuracy. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Adherence to medication prescription schedules is an important step in the prevention and treatment of diseases in modern medicine. For the most part, adherence is the responsibility of the individual or their caregivers requiring them to remember to take the proper doses every day. Missing doses of critical medications can affect the overall health of the individual and drastically set back the progress of the treatment wasting both the time and resources of the medical community. Electronic solutions exist to aid in this process by reminding, measuring, and alerting individuals of their medication schedules, and help to keep detailed logs to verify overall patient adherence. While each of these solutions has improved overall medication adherence, there are still reports of difficulties with their use and accuracy of the results. A new battery powered portable smart pillbox concept has been designed to address the issues with current solutions, focusing particularly on ease of use and accuracy. A proof of concept prototype system has been developed using a commercial of the shelf (COTS) pillbox form factor demonstrating both the operation and feasibility of the design. This system utilizes pills distributed in blister packs, which is a common and familiar packaging technology with many benefits. Multiple pill detection strategies were considered, and an innovative optical solution was developed that could determine when individual pills were removed from the packaging increasing adherence accuracy. The pillbox stores a complete time log of pill removal events, and transmits the record wirelessly to receiving stations. Wireless Radio Frequency (RF) communication is implemented utilizing protocols similar to active Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) standards. This demonstrates the ability of the pillbox to utilize possible future RFID receiver infrastructures in hospitals, pharmacies, and homes expanding the functionality of such RFID systems. A prototype receiving station was developed as a testing platform for the pillbox verifying the systems overall operation and providing a baseline Human Machine Interface (HMI). The final system provides successful pill monitoring with a device that appears both physically and functionally to be a normal pillbox, improving the chances of its acceptance and use by patients.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Venus, Brian
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMickle, Marlin Hmickle@engr.pitt.eduMICKLE
Committee MemberBoston, J. Robertboston@engr.pitt.eduBBN
Committee MemberCain, James Tcain@engr.pitt.eduJTC
Committee MemberHoelzeman,
Date: 3 August 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 25 November 2008
Approval Date: 3 August 2011
Submission Date: 1 December 2008
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Electrical Engineering
Degree: MSEE - Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: pill detection; RFID; medication tracking; pillbox
Other ID:, etd-12012008-033630
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:07
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:37


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