So You Want to Build a Pill Dispenser? Focus on Filling!

Written by: Mary Sorber. Posted: July 25, 2014. 


Do you have an idea for a pill dispensing product? Good for you. You’ve seen the problem and complexity of multiple medication and you have an idea to make it better. I commend you.

At NightingaleRx we’ve learned a few things from evaluating other pill dispensers and studying the medication management landscape. Here are a few things to keep in mind that may assist in your endeavors:

  1. Don’t overlook filling the dispenser. The quality of dispensing is completely dependent on the quality of filling. If the filling is not correct, the dispensing will be compromised and the desired health results will not be realized. It may be stating the obvious, but order to dispense correctly, the dispenser must be filled correctly.
  2. Do acknowledge you have two users with distinct skills and abilities. Many pill dispensers are predicated on the idea that a person needs assistance taking the right medication at the right time because they have memory or cognitive impairments. Those same impairments would prevent accurate filling of the dispenser, so your solution implies that someone without those impairments is responsible for filling the dispenser. That’s two users: a filler, and a consumer.
  3. Do recognize the two users are not equal. Because filling is so important, your primary user is actually the person responsible for filling. You secondary user is the person who consumes the medications. Your primary use case should be easy and accurate filling.
  4. Do anticipate that medication regimes change. Every doctor visit holds the potential to change the medication regime. It could be an increased dosage, a decreased dosage, or a medication added or removed. Do you have a way to accommodate those changes and help your filler and consumer adjust accordingly?

In summary, you should put at least as much focus, if not more, on the filling of your dispenser as on the dispensing features. Most products do the reverse.


Reader Comments: "So You Want to Build a Pill Dispenser? Focus on Filling!"


from roxan (unverified) at August 31, 2019

All these pill dispensers are clutsy and assume the user is blind, senile and incapabe. Lots of us have lots of pills and would like one pill carrier/dispenser instead of juggling bottles. However, I do NOT need a pill dispenser that resembles a cat self-feeder. Old people are not animals.

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Use Case, Medication management, Usability, technology

Last Updated: May 13, 2020.

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