By 2050, the number of people older than 60 will nearly double to 2 billion worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The global population is aging at the fastest rate in history.
One thing that hasn’t changed is their health. “There is little evidence to suggest that older people today are experiencing their later years in better health than their parents,” the WHO said in their study. “While rates of severe disability have declined in high-income countries over the past 30 years, there has been no significant change in mild to moderate disability over the same period.”
As a result, most seniors are on multiple medications. Still, that doesn’t mean they take them as prescribed. By some estimates, 40% to 75% of the elderly don’t follow their prescriptions for reasons such as forgetfulness. That takes a significant toll on them, their loved ones and society. For example, the inability to self-manage prescriptions is responsible for up to 23% of nursing home admissions.
The World’s First and Only Automatic, Modular Pill Dispenser
To help seniors and their caregivers ensure that all of the right medications are taken on schedule, RGF Diagnostics developed Mymemo, the world’s first and only automatic, modular pill dispenser. Mymemo is designed to address several challenges, including a growing shortage of caregivers.
“As medical doctors, we wished to resolve some of the urgent problems related to chronic patients, therapeutic adherence and health care costs,” said Roee Dvir, RGF Diagnostics CEO. “For example, medication non-adherence places a significant cost burden on healthcare systems. We also wanted to address the fact that we are running out of family caregivers when we need them most. We didn’t want to create just another pill dispenser or a stand-alone app, as a reminder. We wished to create a system — an IoT automatic pill dispenser — connected to a remote cloud-based medical center, for the best patient management ever.”
As medical doctors, we wished to resolve some of the urgent problems related to chronic patients, therapeutic adherence and health care costs.Roee Dvir, RGF Diagnostics CEO
The Mymemo system has several components:
- Mymemo Pill Dispenser is designed like a high-end espresso machine and available in five colors. Seniors or their caregivers load pills and capsules into the top of Mymemo, which uses light and sound to alert them when it’s time to take their medication. The locking top prevents unauthorized access by grandchildren and others. Each Mymemo supports up to four different medications, and the modular design allows three devices to be connected to support up to 12 pills or capsules
- MymemoAPP for entering the name, dosage and schedule for each medication. The Mymemo Pill Dispenser uses this information to dispense the right medication at the right time automatically. Moreover, MymemoAPP is a powerful health diary. Patients and caregivers can manage and view all recorded medications, therapeutic adherence, vital parameters and symptoms. A printable report can then be sent to the patient’s doctor.
- MymemoCenter is a cloud-based platform that uses mobile wireless technology to connect to each Mymemo dispenser. Sensors inside the dispenser alert caregivers when medications haven’t been taken and when they’re running low to ensure that patients never miss a dose. MymemoCenter, a 24/7/365 physician-based remote assisted-living center, is where medical and technical professionals provide patients, caregivers and doctors with real-time monitoring, health and technical advice, emergency assistance, and more.
“We designed Mymemo with a patient-based perspective. It delivers the right medicine at the right time. We believe that maintaining personal independence is key for patients and their loved ones. We know high therapeutic adherence saves lives.”
–Giorgio Pizzagalli, RGF Diagnostics COO
The Mymemo Pill Dispenser is also equipped with Bluetooth to connect to other devices, such as medical wearables and smart home devices, including Alexa and Google Home. This connectivity lets Mymemo serve as a hub for the devices that seniors are coming to rely on to stay safe and connected to their caregivers, family members or medical doctor.
“We designed Mymemo with a patient-based perspective,” said Giorgio Pizzagalli, RGF Diagnostics COO. “It delivers the right medicine at the right time. We believe that maintaining personal independence is key for patients and their loved ones. We know high therapeutic adherence saves lives.”
By ensuring that they follow their prescriptions, Mymemo helps keep seniors in their homes. It can also be used in independent retirement and assisted living communities where it reduces costs, ensures high adherence to long-term therapy and contributes to quality of treatment and patient management. Mymemo can be perfectly integrated with pharmacy platforms to automate prescription refills, including door-to-door delivery.
Using Telit’s Flexible, Affordable IoT Modules to Enable Reliable Connectivity
Reliable connectivity is critical for ensuring that Mymemo dispensers can communicate with a caregiver or MymemoCenter’s professional staff. However, many seniors don’t have DSL, cable or fiber service in their homes, so RGF Diagnostics needed an alternative network technology that’s available nearly everywhere. Cellular was the obvious choice.
RGF Diagnostics also needed a cellular module capable of using a variety of network technologies and multiple operators to ensure that Mymemo can be used throughout the European Union and the U.S. The module also had to be inexpensive enough to help keep Mymemo affordable.
RGF Diagnostics turned to Telit and selected the GSM/GPRS GL865 cellular module family to meet those requirements. Mymemo dispensers are also equipped with the Telit GS2 Wi-Fi module to use Wi-Fi when mobile service is unavailable. This flexibility helps Mymemo serve the broadest possible market and ensure reliable connectivity, such as deep inside buildings where cellular signals are unavailable.
“Taking the right medication at the right time is critical for helping seniors live happy, healthy lives. With Telit as our partner, we’re empowering patients and caregivers throughout Europe and the U.S.”
–Giorgio Pizzagalli, RGF Diagnostics COO
RGF Diagnostics also liked that the GL865 is available with a suite of services that significantly reduces cost and complexity:
- SIMs: RGF Diagnostics has the flexibility of using traditional, physical SIM cards provided by Telit, as well as simWISE™, Telit’s integrated, software-based SIMs. simWISE eliminates the space and cost of SIM cards and trays and enables remote provisioning for greater flexibility and savings. For example, RGF Diagnostics doesn’t have to send a technician out to install or replace a SIM card in each Mymemo dispenser to connect to the right mobile operator.
- Data plans: Telit offers operating expense (OPEX) reduction, regardless of how many IoT edge devices are deployed or their data needs. RGF Diagnostics can configure individual data plan profiles based on their unique business requirements. OPEX reduction also frees RGF Diagnostics to focus on expanding Mymemo to additional markets and developing other innovative solutions instead of manually comparing and changing rate plans.
- Management: Telit’s IoT Portal is a cloud-based platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that streamlines and centralizes a wide variety of management tasks for devices, applications, connectivity, security and more.