Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pill bottles that rat you out


Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ Mar 2, 2010, says most of the medicine prescribed for chronic conditions doesn’t work—because people forget to take it.

Now, the pharmco biggie Express Scripts has a bottle that lets you know when to take your meds.

You plug the wireless transmitter into the wall and it makes the pill bottle blink and later emit a beep every five minutes with increasing annoyance.

After that, it really gets going—sending a telephone or text message to you.

THEN, it can also email the doctor—Star didn’t take her medicine.

OMG, I would smash the thing flat in a second.

Novartis takes a different approach—it puts a tiny chip on the pill that sends a message to the person and anywhere else designated. (Wouldn’t the patient already know?)Is filling up people's insides with transmitters a great idea? I wonder.

Another system, from Leap of Faith Technologies, issues phone reminders if the patient scans a bar code ordering these.

Still other companies scan pharmaceutical records to see if people are renewing their meds often enough.

I am so sure doctors want a bunch of emails or calls tattling on patients. They hardly pay attention to us now.

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