Medtech firm hones ‘smart pill bottle’ for general use
Salford-based Elucid Digital Health has shrunk its groundbreaking smart pill bottle to a patented dispenser cap which can be made to screw on to any pill bottle.
With interest from three major pharma companies for use in clinical trials and two others who want to use it for high-value medicines, Elucid Digital Health is planning further trials to show that the new dispensing smart cap provides the robustness of – 100% reliability – the bottle.
Pill Connect was developed to prompt patients to take their medications on time and to send a report back to the doctor to advise them of their patients’ adherence record.
The prompt comes from an app on their mobile phone which, when acknowledged, ejects a pill or capsule from the bottle through the dispensing cap.
Should the patient not wish to take their medication due to illness or an adverse reaction, they can respond through the app.
What is unique about the Pill Connect system, as well as providing a detailed adherence record, is that it allows for an immediate intervention by an automated text or phone call should the app not be activated.
This could help in clinical trials where poor compliance can compromise the validity of the trial.
It is well known that compliance rapidly declines over time and in longer studies, more than nine months, can drop off a cliff.
The Pill Connect system allows monitors to not only know when it happens, but have the opportunity to intervene and talk to the person to see what can be done to help them become more compliant.
The monitor has access to a complete dashboard covering the whole trial so that everyone involved can be advised in real time of the rate of compliance or issues which effect compliance.
Two other pharmas are looking to trial the Pill Connect system with very high value medicines and with medicines where compliance is critical.
Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that poor adherence contributes to nearly 200 000 premature deaths in Europe per year, with an estimated cost of £85.9bn in avoidable hospitalisations, emergency care, and outpatient visits .
Elucid Digital Health chief executive, James Burnstone, said: “We believe that reducing the pill dispensing mechanism from a bottle to a cap means that any pharma can now use the Pill Connect system without having to make changes to their existing production lines.
“While we have not yet determined a final price, it will be very cost-effective in reducing trial failures which can result in delays and failures costing millions.”