PillDrill Launches Smart Medication Tracking System  4/19/2016

PillDrill, Inc., today debuted PillDrill, a smart medication tracking system developed to simplify the task of everyday pill taking by adding a light layer of technology to the user’s existing routine. In a recent preview of the new device, PillDrill was named the ECRM/Drug Store News “2016 Most Innovative Product” by more than 100 retail pharmacy buyers at ECRM’s Home Health care event.

Designed with a careful blend of technology and humanity by a team that includes a former product design engineer for the Amazon Kindle Voyage, PillDrill is designed to be easy to use, adapt seamlessly to any medication routine, and work whether a person manages their own or a loved one’s pill regimen.

“Medication adherence is one of the biggest issues in health care today,” said Peter Havas, PillDrill’s founder and CEO. “But interestingly, it’s not a medical challenge. It’s a behavioral challenge – a human challenge – so we designed PillDrill to be completely human-friendly. It’s not an app or some complicated hardware station, because those things don’t work for people in their everyday lives. What’s special about PillDrill is that it blends right into the person’s existing routine: a light overlay that provides all the benefits of a technology product without any of the hassles. You can actually use PillDrill. Mom or dad can actually use it.”

The core of the system is the PillDrill Hub, an attractive, compact device that sits next to your pills at home, knows your medication schedule, and issues clear audio-visual alerts when doses are due. To indicate that a dose has been taken, you simply wave your medication container in front of the Hub. Depending on whether or not a scan has occurred, the Hub triggers real-time adherence updates (via SMS or the PillDrill app) to family members and other interested parties. This quick, familiar gesture – a scan – is both simple and powerful, resulting in improved adherence for the user and peace of mind for the loved ones who support them.

Each year in the U.S. alone, poor medication adherence causes 10% of hospital admissions, 40% of treatment failures, 125,000 deaths and costs more than $100 billion in avoidable healthcare spending. Medication adherence can be especially problematic in family care situations where one family member is caring for another, and interpersonal conflicts develop.

“The family caregiver just wants to know that their loved one is taking their pills and doing well,” said David Svec, M.D., MBA, Internal Medicine physician and Clinical Assistant Professor, Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA. “Oftentimes, however, the person taking pills feels relatively independent and doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone – or be nagged – despite needing help. This dynamic creates constant anxiety for the caregiver and deep-rooted frustration for the patient. Considering how prevalent family care situations are, there has been a shocking lack of support to address this issue — until now. The PillDrill approach is a fundamentally better way to address the challenges of medication adherence.”

PillDrill Components and How They Work

  • The PillDrill Hub is the heart of the system. Measuring 6”x3”x3”, plugged into an electrical outlet, and connected to Wi-Fi, the Hub issues clear audio-visual alerts when doses are due. A quick swipe of tagged medications over the scanning area registers them as taken. 
  • The Pill Strip is a weekly pill organizer that consolidates pills in a familiar fashion while offering an improved ergonomic experience. Each pill pod (e.g., Monday AM) removes individually and has a built-in sensor for scanning. Any number of pill strips can be connected together to accommodate the user’s specific routine. 
  • Scanning Tags allow you to “activate” any medication container for easy scanning. Simply attach a PillDrill scanning tag, and it’s ready to scan. Scanning a tagged medication instantly registers it as taken. Each kit includes 12 scanning tags, clearly labeled A through L. 
  • The Mood Cube is a wellness tracker with five faces: Great, Good, OK, Bad, and Awful. Scan any face to instantly communicate how you’re feeling to loved ones and track health patterns over time. 
  • The PillDrill App (optional) syncs with the Hub in real time. If used to manage a loved one’s medication routine, the app sends the caregiver(s) updates throughout the day about their loved one’s adherence and mood. If used to manage one’s own care, the app can be used to get reminders and log doses on the go. Setup and scheduling are handled almost entirely through the app or a PillDrill web account, making remote setup (when the caregiver and PillDrill user live far apart) equally effective. 
The video below, recorded at ECRM’s Home Health care pre-launch, shows how PillDrill works in a home setting.


PillDrill full kit
PillDrill hub
PillDrill Mood Cube
PillDrill Pill Strip
Scanning a bottle with PillDrill
Scanning a Mood Cube with PillDrill
Scanning a Pod with PillDrill
PillDrill Scanning Tags

Joseph Tarnowski

VP Content

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