Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Qualife adds biometric analysis to smart pillbox

Steve Rogerson
June 6, 2019

Hong Kong-based Qualife has added biometric analysis and drug interaction alerts to its Pillgo smart pillbox.
Poor medication adherence is becoming a global hindrance to chronic disease management and, according to the Centers for Disease for Control & Prevention, medication is not taken as prescribed half of the time. This lack of adherence leads to 30 to 50 per cent of chronic disease treatment failures and 125,000 deaths per year in the USA alone.
With the goal of streamlining the medication intake process and empowering users with the ability to improve their medication constancy, Qualife has introduced an upgrade to its smart pillbox.
Building on the previous model and Kickstarter campaign, Qualife has changed the Pillgo into a smarter, user-friendly pillbox that integrates biometrics for health status monitoring, as well as drug allergy and drug interaction alerts to inform users of possible side effects that might arise from combining certain medications.
According to Qualife co-founder Ivan Wan, ease of use was one of the most important factors for developing the Pillgo and this focus led to the creation of a smart pillbox that will help users better understand their response to the various medications they take, as well as better visualise a complex dosage schedule. The combination of an innovative, intelligent app and a physical, easy-to-use smart pillbox, the device is designed to optimise a user's long-term medication plan.
"The intelligent app can effectively manage a user's medication information and the app is now enhanced by optical character recognition (OCR) technology that can capture prescription medication labels with a camera and recognise corresponding information in the app, resulting in reduced processing time and smoother user flow," Wan said.
In developing its initial pillbox, the company's team conducted numerous research studies, consulted various focus groups, and analysed many survey results to understand the real-life medication experience.
After the release of its first pillbox, Qualife ran a pilot test of the smart pillbox with the help of more than 200 users. The result was an average of 11.5% improvement in medication adherence of pilot users. The team then incorporated features inspired by the feedback they received and developed the latest version of their pillbox, the Pillgo, to improve overall user experience.
"The physical design of the smart pillbox is optimised for stress-free user sorting and extraction of medication, enabling users to sort their medications with ease by the type of pills or by medication schedule," Wan said.
The Pillgo includes a number of features incorporated into its circular design including:

  • Biometric analysis: Visualises biomarkers under different dosage schedule and types of medication by integrating the user's biometric data with medication data.
  • Drug interaction alerts: Alerts user to possible effects of certain drugs interacting with each other.
  • Flexible pill sorting: Medication can be sorted based on user preference, by individual pill or dosage.
  • Intelligent setup via OCR: Allows user to capture prescription medication labels with a camera, thereby ensuring accurate pill information input. 
Qualife is an intelligence healthcare company based in Hong Kong and founded by a team with over a decade of experience in the medical services and IT industries.