Image: The medicine management system for the elderly (Photo courtesy Yanko Design).
A prototype medicine management system geared toward the elderly features a touch screen and a camera for reading bar codes on drug packages, as well as accompanying programmable pill-boxes that can remind users when to take their pills.
Design students at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taipei, Taiwan) developed the prototype system, which is composed of two parts: a user terminal with a touch screen interface that includes a medicine query system and a bar code scanner to input information regarding the medications; and a portable electronic pillbox with voice and vibration prompts to remind the users to take their medicine at the correct times. Doctors can transmit information on medical treatment and drugs to the electronic pillbox, which the patients can then access on their personal medicine system at home. The electronic pillbox can also save essential information regarding health status and medication, as well as connect to a hospital information system (HIS) to download information on medical treatments, and provide the information on demand, such as during a medical emergency.
To ensure medication safety, the patient scans the bar code or quick response (QR) code printed on the medicine bag or packaging. The user terminal also includes functions to remind the user to take their medicine, and enables queries to medicine databases. The prototype was presented by design students Ying-Chien Lin, Yue-Hua Li, and Wei-Yin Su to Yanko Design, a web magazine dedicated to introducing modern international design concepts.
"I once asked an aged uncle of mine, how come he got by without taking any medicines in his life. He smirked and told me his secret; he had a bad memory so he simply kneaded all his pills into the roti and ate it," said Radhika Seth, Executive Assistant at Yanko Design. "Hence the medicine management system for the elderly makes perfect sense, it makes them independent."
National Taiwan University of Science and Technology