Company Creates Smart Gadget that Reminds Patients to Take Medicine

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. prescribe / prɪˈskraɪb / (v) – to instruct someone to take certain drugs or perform a certain medication

    The doctor prescribed paracetamol for my fever.

  2. adhere to / ædˈhɪər tə / (phrasal) – to act according to the requirements or instructions of something

    The organization can cancel your membership if you don’t adhere to its rules.

  3. gauge / geɪdʒ / (v) – to measure and assess

    The teacher gauges the speaking ability of his students through their class presentations.

  4. preset / priˈsɛt / (v) – to set something ahead of time

    The lights in the shop are preset to automatically turn on at 6 o’clock in the morning.

  5. dispense / dɪˈspɛns / (v) – to distribute something, usually out of a container

    I’ve seen some vending machines that dispense toiletries.


Read the text below.

Medical technology company Elucid Health has created a reliable smart pill bottle called Pill Connect, which reminds patients to take their medicine on time.

Studies in the United Kingdom revealed that a significant number of patients were not taking their medicine as prescribed by doctors. This puts patients’ health at risk and keeps them from managing their conditions properly. In addition to compromising patients’ health, failure to adhere to prescription also undermines the findings of drug trials. This is because the effects of drugs under trial might not be gauged accurately if patients take them incorrectly.

A medical expert from the University of Edinburgh said that patients’ non-compliance with prescription happens when their physicians do not have time to fully explain the benefits of proper medication.

Pill Connect helps solve this problem by letting users preset the number of pills or tablets to be taken and the schedule of intake through an app. At the scheduled time, the app will send a reminder to the patient. Once the patient responds to the reminder, the bottle will dispense the set number of pills or tablets. Afterward, the bottle will automatically lock. The app records if the dispensed medicine was taken or not. Then, it sends a report to a database that can help physicians monitor their patients’ medicine intake.

Pill Connect has been put through several trials. The team had tweaked the gadget a few times to fix some technical issues from earlier trials, but the most recent one yielded a 100% success rate. Following this success, Elucid Health plans to test the gadget with patients diagnosed with long-term illnesses.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• What do you think could be some disadvantages of relying on this kind of gadget? Discuss.
• Do you think buying a smart gadget like Pill Connect to help patients take their medicine on time is really necessary? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Do you think it is the responsibility of physicians to closely monitor if their patients are taking medicine on time? Why or why not?
• What do you think are the best ways to encourage patients to take their prescribed medicine properly? Discuss.