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Why AI Needs a Good Pill Dispenser

Artificial Intelligence is the latest technology growth field with smart centers popping up throughout North America. For example, in Montreal where we are located, local AI start-ups are being purchased for $100 Million from the likes of Microsoft. Next, Google is rumored to be moving into town with projections of hiring hundreds of Software Engineers that currently do not exist. Every other engineering firm is adding AI to their product roadmap, Medipense included. While Universities cannot pump out enough engineering grads and governments are handing out incentives, like candy, for innovation projects the net effect will be a massive immigration influx from the rest of the world. Drivers of the new economy, this can be a good thing.

In the health care sector, AI applications are rampant. IBM Watson reads millions of documents, analyzes test results and provides recommendations within 30 seconds (or so), helping even the most disconnected physician, benefit from the smartest knowledge in the world. Other AI companies are targeting niche areas like Cancer, Diabetes, Heart and chronic diseases. Local projects include advanced sensor development, training applications for surgery, robotics and big data. The common thread for all of AI is the massive need for data.

How does AI help Seniors with Chronic Diseases?

Seniors are major consumers of the world’s prescription medications. As many disease conditions hit us later in life, medications are needed to control and manage these age-related afflictions. We know that one-third of all hospital re-admissions are due to medication non-adherence. We know that medication errors account for a growing number of deaths each year. We also know that seniors want to remain independent as long as possible. So, how can we apply AI to the benefit of Seniors?

Artificial Intelligence can be used to diagnose conditions based on current data, in real-time. A senior whose vitals fluctuate during the day, can be advised on the best course of action by health care providers who may be notified to make critical decisions. AI can and has been shown to predict future behavior based on current data. In one study, AI predicted a fall, 4 hours earlier. I know that may be a bit unnerving and raises ethical and moral questions, but the value of this knowledge is undisputed. Having this knowledge can prevent adverse event and provide a better quality of life. AI can be an always-on-call life coach.

How do Seniors Help AI?

First and foremost, AI needs patient data. It needs to analyze not only whole populations, but most importantly individual data to apply its results for a specific individual or patient. Where does this patient data come from? Sensors and IoT appliances supply much of this data. For example, users of the RxPense® pill dispenser have their medications managed 24×7.  When a dose is ready for consumption, the patient is notified with a series of audible and visual cues. The patient authenticates, by voice, pin or password and receives their medications, opened and ready for consumption. Instructions are presented, and the patient confirms the medications were consumed.

At the time of consumption, the RxPense® can also capture patient vitals from Bluetooth connected sensors. All this data is uploaded in an audit trail to the Cloud, to provide a consolidated patient view. At this point, AI can begin processing the live data, analyze, diagnose and prepare intelligence reports to those who can make decisions and take action – caregivers and health care providers.

Good data means good analysis. A good pill dispenser like the RxPense® captures good data and helps AI make better recommendations.


Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare is the use of algorithms and software to approximate human cognition in the analysis of complex medical data. Specifically, AI is the ability for computer algorithms to approximate conclusions without direct human input. – wikipedia

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