BME100 f2016:Group9 W1030AM L1

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BME 100 Fall 2016 Home
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Name: Yassin Youssfi
Name: Kolby Black
Name: Ross Douglas
Name: Zheyuan Huang
Name: Joseph Krigbaum
Name: Your name


Health Care Issue

Many people rely on prescription medication, especially those with chronic pain and senior citizens. Pills can many times be misused or forgotten. When a prescription is given there is no way for the doctor or pharmacist to know if the medication was taken as prescribed. Many people develop life destroying addictions to their medications. Others suffer medical complications because they forget to take their medications. Thus the issue today is substance abuse in its broadest form whether it be pain killers, or medicinal marijuana. The pathology behind this issue is pharmacotherapy.



Alert 1 Medication Reminder & Organizer Reminds patients to take dose. Stores medication conveniently

HLLNMEDS Press-a-pill Stores medication conveniently. Is inexpensive. Does not require electricity

Automatic Pill Dispenser Stores medication conveniently. High Capacity. Reminds patients to take dose.

Livefine Automatic Pill Dispenser Reminds patients to take dose. Stores medication conveniently.


Alert 1 Medication Reminder & Organizer Does not communicate to doctor whether patient is taking dose. Is not tamper proof.

HLLNMEDS Press-a-pill Does not remind patients to take medication. Does not communicated to doctor whether patient is taking dose. Is not tamper proof.

Automatic Pill Dispenser Does not communicate to doctor whether patient is taking dose. Is not tamper proof.

Livefine Automatic Pill Dispenser Does not communicate to doctor whether patient is taking dose. Is not tamper proof. Does not automatically dispense dosage.

Customer Validation

From the individual patient perspective it has great benefit in the form of consistent and easy reminders (for those suffering from neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and even Parkinson’s who need to take their prescriptions in a timely and consistent manner. For those recovering from drug addictions/abuse that want to prevent any relapses this unit would protect them in that the narcotic prescriptions would be under time lock and the unit itself would be tamper resistant, something that other similar products seem to be lacking. An example of which can be seen in an review of a similar product, “While I respect this company for making a device that dispenses medications for patients in an organized way, I have to warn those who look to purchase a secure machine, that this device is FAR from tamper proof. My 78 year old father with Alzheimers Dementia has broken into and ruined 3 of these machines with no more that a sturdy pen.” (Sean O'Mallon, 2015) The lack of quality tamper resistance has made that product effective useless in regards to protecting the medication from abuse of loss. This presents a great opportunity for our product with those looking for a safe and secure way to manage medication.

From the payer perspective the amount of money they lose to people trying to abuse medications is substantial. James O’Toole, a writer from CNNMoney wrote in an article back in 2012 how, “ One study puts the potential overall cost of painkiller abuse at more than $70 billion a year.” (James O’Toole, “How prescription drug abuse costs you money”, 2012). Our product presents an opportunity for the payer to provide a relatively small investment in the security of prescription drugs to help take a step towards the reduction in the amount of narcotic drug abuse which could potentially save billions of dollars and greatly improve the health of patients all over the country.

From the physician perspective the product would greatly improve the quality of delivering their health care to patients. According to Dr. Lin’s journal “When patients don’t take their prescription drugs”, not taking prescription drugs or taking less than the doctor instructed could put the patient into risk. In fact, Dr. Lin had a patient suffer from a stroke because of not filling prescription. One major reason patients are hesitant to take prescribed drugs is that the inconvenience involved in the trip to pick up their medications (Lin). If all the patients have easy access to get their drugs, they will be much more active in taking medications, and their doctors don’t have to deal with side-effects caused by misuse of prescribed drugs.

From the provider perspective the benefit of this product comes in the form of in a decrease in treatment of prescription drug overdose and from people not taking their medications when needed. The reminders that our product would give to the patient to take their medications on time to prevent any complications, would cut back on the amount a patient would need to come in due to the neglect of their necessitated medications to get potentially preventable life saving treatment if their medications had been administered on time. The tamper resistance our product would offer would dramatically cut back on abuse through preventing some people from ever developing an addiction or abuse problem through time regulated disbursement of narcotic painkillers/medications which have the potential for abuse with patients suffering from chronic pain. As Jennifer Zaino writes in an article for Healthcare Finances the costs of treating drug abuse related incidents are incredibly high, “About half of the patients in the study sample who went to the emergency room for opioid overdoses were admitted to the hospital and costs for both inpatient and emergency care totaled nearly $2.3 billion, it revealed.” (Jennifer Zaino, “As epidemic grows, the cost of drug addiction weighs on hospital finances”, 2015).


From the purchaser’s perspective the benefits of this product would be seen in the long term use. At the beginning, putting this dispenser to every patient’s house might seem to be an extra splurge for most insurance companies. However, companies need to realize what the dispensing system can save them in the long run. Patients who don’t take medications as instructed are prone to have more health issues than they already have and will need follow up health care. The process of a patient misusing his or her drugs and getting treatments can waste medical resources. According to a study done on economic impact of wasted prescription medicine, “if $30 per person represents a low estimate of average annual waste, the US national cost for adults older than 65 years would top $1 billion per year (TM).”

IP Position

There are about 14 patents for products similar to ours. They all differ in the fact that they are simply automatic pill dispensers and do not have the additional and central features of our product.

9,283,150 Pill dispensing system 8,712,583 Automatic pill dispenser, (8,452,446, 6,427,865, 5,372,276 also) Similar patents are: 7,359,765 (Electronic pill dispenser), 6,510,962 (Programmable automatic pill dispenser), 6,330,957 (Automatic medication dispenser), 5,915,589 (Programmable automatic pill dispenser with pawl indexing mechanism), 5,641,091 (Automatic pill dispenser 2), 5,609,268 and 5,472,113 (Automatic pill dispensing apparatus), 5,159,581 (Medicine reminder and dispenser), and lastly 4,573,606 (Automatic pill dispenser and method of administering medical pills).

The products most similar to ours are: 7,359,765 (Electronic pill dispenser), and 5,915,589 (Programmable automatic pill dispenser with pawl indexing mechanism), 5,609,268 and 5,472,113 (Automatic pill dispensing apparatus), These were filed in 1998, 1996, and 1995. The only product I see being a big competitor is Pillo, a personal home health robot that has features we were planning on including. It will going to be about 600 dollars though and so our product that is much less expensive could be more popular.

Fundability Worksheet Scores

Competitors 3/3
In general, most of the competition does have a lot to offer, but our product will offer two crucial things that everything else on the market does not: Communication between the Medication dispenser and your physician to ensure the correct dosage is administered and that the patient is following a set medicating schedule; tamper proofing which all of the medical dispensers do not offer. Most of the can be broken into with something as simple as a butter knife.

Customer Validation 2/3

Rational users who have their best interest in mind love this product because it will ensure that they get the correct dose of medication when they need it. However, those looking to abuse the system and get more than they need will not approve of this automatic medication dispenser. Nevertheless, the people spending money on this looking to benefit either themselves, a relative, or friend will have their best interest in mind when purchasing this automatic medicine dispenser.

IP Position 2/3

There are patents in place for similar at home, automatic, self dispensing medicine apparatus's. However, we will be ensuring that our machines stand out from the crowd by communicating with physicians on whether or not the patient is taking his/her medication as well as the possibility to adjust dosage from the doctors side. Moreover, our machine will be built in a cost effective way which still allows for it to be tamper proof, unlike almost every other alternative dispenser on the market.


Sean O'Mallon. "Automatic Pill Dispenser Tamper Resistant, Long Alarm and Text Message. Locked Pill Dispenser. E-pill MD3 Works for Patients Prescribed Pain Medications or Class II Narcotics. Dispenses up to 4 times per Day." : Health & Personal Care. N.p., 10 Sept. 2015. Web. 05 Sept. 2016.

O'Toole, James. "How Prescription Drug Abuse Costs You Money." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 24 Feb. 2012. Web. 05 Sept. 2016.

Zaino, Jennifer. "As Epidemic Grows, the Cost of Drug Addiction Weighs on Hospital Finances." Healthcare Finance. N.p., 9 Oct. 2015. Web. 5 Sept. 2016.

Lin, Kenneth. "When Patients Don't Take Their Prescription Drugs." N.p., 19 Aug. 2011. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.

TM, Morgan. "The Economic Impact of Wasted Prescription Medication in an Outpatient Population of Older Adults." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Sept. 2001. Web. 06 Sept. 2016.