Сlient: NDA Pharma company.
Challenge: Adherence to the treatment protocol of people who are prone to overdose.
Solution: The development of the IoT-powered smart drug dispenser for a patient. And the web application for a doctor to monitor the adherence to the treatment protocol and control the possibility of the overdose.
Overdosage as a Major Problem and Its Technological Solution
Adherence to the treatment plan is a serious challenge for many patients: they often forget to take pills in time, or they can take too many pills and overdose. It’s sad statistics, but in the USA, nearly 841,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose, according to the Center for Disease Control Prevention, and this number is growing.
Yet, there is a technological solution to this particular problem, and in this business case, it will be brought to light. This solution can be called the Smart Drug Administration with the help of the Internet of Things.
The healthcare sector has required digital solutions to increase the effectiveness of numerous operations for a long time already. Internet of Things technology, with its capability to collect valuable data and transmit it instantly to anyone, is, without a doubt, a life-saving technology for healthcare, and it can help to solve the issue of drug addiction and overdose.
IoT-powered smart drug administration becomes possible with the dispenser powered with the IoT sensor and a web application.
Smart Drug Administration solution was created in cooperation with the pharma company, which wanted to ensure the adherence of patients to the pharmacological treatment plan and to decrease the number of overdose incidents to the minimum.
The challenge. The challenge was to create a smart drug dispenser powered with IoT sensors that would indicate any intrusion or violation and a web application for remote monitoring of adherence of patients to pharmacological treatment.
The smart drug administration solution can be divided into two elements:
- Smart dispenser for a patient with the fingerprint unlocking capability, which is improved with the sensor that reacts to any violation of the dispenser and sends a notification to the doctor’s application in case it is broken.
- Web application for a healthcare professional can see the progress of pharmacological treatment in the form of a dashboard and receive notifications about any violations and overdoses.
An IoT-powered smart dispenser is improved with a protection mechanism that can be unlocked only by the fingers of the patient. When the treatment plan is created, a doctor, together with the patient, sets the device to recognize only the fingertips of one person. This feature prevents children from receiving access to drugs and overdosing accidentally. More than that, this smart dispenser will only provide patients with the exact dosage of the drugs at the exact time. This seemingly simple time control has paramount importance for the reduction of the risk of overdose.
But can a patient just break the smart dispenser with a hammer and get all the pills? Of course, there is still a possibility that a patient simply destroys the dispenser. But in this case, the healthcare specialist will be notified about this violation immediately and will be able to minimize the negative consequences of the episode by contacting the patient.
Web application for the healthcare specialist to monitor the adherence to the pharmacological treatment in real-time. All the data about the patient will be delivered in the form of dashboards, so a doctor will be able to understand the dynamics of the treatment. One of the key features of this web application will be the possibility to receive real-time alerts: texts or messages about any violations of the coherence of the smart drug dispenser.
Among the most valuable features of this web application the following can be mentioned:
- Real-time alerts via email or text about the violation of the treatment protocol;
- Weekly/monthly summary reports about the dynamics of the treatment;
- Login anytime to review detailed activity.
The whole system, though it may look simple, in reality, can be a life-saving vest for thousands of people with addiction. IoT technology is effective in a way a person can never be: it works 24/7, and it doesn’t have biases and human errors. If a smart dispenser is broken by a patient, there is no way to hide it, so the chances of an overdose are reduced to the minimum.
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