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Pill Dispensers, a Competitive Analysis

The newest generation of pill dispensers are not only automated, but connected as well. Last year, we spent some time researching for the best pill dispenser for seniors and those for general consumer use. In the original article written for Medium.com, we documented the best of the best.

Since that time, we have been watching most of them closely while some have failed, others hold much promise. They are all developed for niche markets and segments of our society who can most benefit. Each has a compelling feature that makes it shine above the others, but together they are well engineered by smart people to serve a better good.

They all connect to patients and caregivers, some with advanced support for pharmacists and health care professionals via online portals. Besides all the cool bells and whistles, what distinguishes them most is their form factor, ease-of-use and target market. The days of manually dispensing your buffet of medications into small plastic organizers is almost over.

We review the pill dispensers that handle blister packaged medication, strip/pouch packaged medications, even devices that require manual fulling from your original pill vials. They all promote increased medication adherence.

Explore the original brief we wrote on Medium.com for the full report.

Why the RxPense is better

  1. Keep your existing pharmacy & pharmacist: every pharmacy already does, or can easily fill blister packages with all your medications. Pharmacists can do this manually or with a special robot. As a senior, you benefit from consistency of dealing with a pharmacist who knows you, a pharmacy and pharmacist with whom you have already built a relationship. Other devices require specialty pharmacies to supply your meds, which may only seal up to 4 or 5 meds per package. RxPense on the other hand uses blister packaging, sealed by the pharmacist which may hold up to 15 meds per dose.
  2. Monitor and Improve Adherence, facilitates medication reconciliation: the RxPense improves adherence by reminding you to take your meds and notifies your caregiver or circle of care team when you do not. All medications, schedule, doses and details are available at the touch of a button, to allow your pharmacist to perform a MedsCheck or medication reconciliation.
  3. Emergency Help, when needed: Tapping support or emergency information on the RxPense displays a complete picture of your health, medications, history and contact details of your caregivers. Use of Panique, our panic button and fall detector accessory further ensures those who need to know, are notified.
  4. Prevent theft, under-consumption or over-dosing: the RxPense is locked and requires authentication to open, consume meds or operate. Medication dose times are respected and additional doses or incorrect dose times are prevented. Meds that have already been skipped or missed, remain inside, locked and will not be dispensed.
  5. Circle of Care: maintains close connections with family, friends, physicians, pharmacists, clinicians and caregivers. The important people in your life are always connected. They receive alerts when you don’t take your pills, panic or fall. They can log into the portal to review your adherence and view any vitals collected from third-party wearables or devices.

The RxPense is Innovative, Better, Unique

  • Security, physical & virtual: medications can not be removed or viewed once locked into the RxPense®, until it is time to take them. Biometric/RFID/PIN identification and authorization levels determine who can access and consume. Image of consumer can be captured.
  • Validation: When inserted into the RxPense®, Patient Data is automatically captured from header/barcode on sealed blister-packaged medications prepared by the pharmacy. Medications, Patient, Machine and Pharmacy must match the patient profile or EHR.
  • Medications: Dispense up to 2 weeks’ complex medication regimens (15 pills per dose). Additional reminders for PRN, OTC and liquids. Control of opioids and high value meds.
  • Alerts: Audible alarms and voice recordings as reminders, image and video capture during use.
  • Multilingual: English, French and Spanish out of the box. Other languages downloadable.
  • Surveys: Completely integrated custom survey creation and delivery, before during or after medication consumption.
  • Delivery: Medications physically/robotically removed from the blister package and provided to the patient, with instructions for consumption. Perfect for Elderly and arthritic conditions.
  • Missed Dose Skip: When a dose is missed, caregivers are notified. Patented robotics ensure the patient is prevented from double-dosing next time.
  • Panic/Fall Detection: Panique™ personal pendant that serves as a fall-detector, panic button and authentication device.
  • Support: 1 button emergency or caregiver contact assistance.
  • Reports: manage/consolidate groups of patients, vitals and medication compliance reports.
  • Other: large touch screen, battery backup, emergency information, full audit trail, compliance history

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