The Premise. When being prescribed medication that needs to be taken regularly, it can be easy to get distracted and forget to take it on time. Add to that special instructions or medications that shouldn’t be taken together and it becomes more than a matter of keeping an eye on the clock.
The Product. PharmAssistant is a solution for people who need reminders on when and how to take different medications. The technology behind PharmAssistant relies on two key components: a smartphone with the PharmAssistant app, and the SmartBottle with a Bluetooth cap alarm. After programming which medications need to be taken and how often into the app, the app will send a blinking light and sound alarm to the cap of the bottle of the medicine, which will continue to go off until the bottle is opened. Additionally, a monitoring service is available that will send an alert to a third party’s phone such as a family member to notify them if a dosage has been skipped. While this service will have a small monthly fee, the bottles will continue to work without a subscription.
The Pitch. Using an animated sales pitch, the PharmAssistant team provide a somewhat over-the-top look at how hard it can be to keep medications straight. Backing up their product with shocking statistics on medication-related deaths in the United States alone, PharmAssistant sticks to the facts, explaining very simply what the product offers for both patients, family members, and even pharmacists. PharmAssistant needs $20,000 to complete the app, test the product, and then begin production.
The Perks. All of the PharmAssistant SmartBottles are expected to be delivered in December of this year. They range in price from $60 for two to $135 for six, and each set comes with a free three month minimum sample of their monitoring service.
The Potential. The intentions of PharmAssistant are noble, trying to make it easy to remember to take medicine or supplements for people every day, but the execution here is lacking. With the exception of the alarms on the SmartBottles themselves or the monitoring service add-on, there’s nothing here that isn’t offered by a simple, first-party phone notification. Programming in the extra instructions and the kinds of medicine do little when without the SmartBottles, all that would be printed with the prescription bottles anyhow. There are some good ideas with PharmAssistant, but the benefits probably won’t be enough to give this product a lasting appeal.