Thanks to 3D printing some radical changes in contemporary health care are taking place. From enabling life-changing technologies like bioprinting to making day-to-day health maintenance easier than ever, 3D printing really is the tool of an ongoing revolution in medicine. A recent project posted on the maker site Hackaday is one of those efforts that combine 3D printing and state-of-the-art DIY electronics to make the lives of people who rely on multiple medications to remain alive and in good health easier.
Hackaday contributor “Joe,” who lives in Boston, Massachusetts but earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Oregon State University, has created a Raspberry Pi-powered, 3D printed device that he’s dubbed a “medication vending machine” that helps caregivers organize and monitor a person’s medications.
If you’ve ever cared for a person with a chronic illness, you know how overwhelming managing their medications at home can be. Those plastic pill organizers with the box for each day of the week are helpful only if the number of medications a person is required to take each day, sometimes multiple times per day, is fairly limited.
Joe’s Smart Desktop Medicine Organizer performs automatic pill organization. Each pill gets stored individually and can be accessed individually through an automated system.
Not only does the Smart Desktop Medicine Organizer device help caregivers and patients organize and dispense medications accurately and efficiently, it is WiFi- and cloud-connected so that, explains Joes, “the machine, its inventory, and its use statistics can be connected to a doctor or pharmacy so caregivers can monitor their patient’s use of medication.” The machine provides what its maker refers to as “Smart Medication Control.” Since it is
connected to the cloud it can confirm whether medications are safe to be used together and warn patients if that isn’t the case. It can also prevent patients from overdosing by limiting the frequency in which a given medication is dispenses.