The Smart NB-IoT Pill Dispenser
London based Pillsure Ltd. was founded in 2017 by Boris Sossa and Alan Tingle. With his intensive longstanding experience in the electronics industry, Boris realized early, that Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) holds the potential for a vast range of smart solutions especially in the healthcare industry.
In 2014, Boris Sossa became aware that a new LPWAN NB-IoT cellular communication technology was being developed and would eventually be standardised globally. Boris recognised the business and healthcare potential and began formulating his ideas. He contacted two technical companies that he had previously worked with in the Netherlands. The exploration of product development was not successful. However, in 2016, the technology became a reality with the launch of 3GPP.
In 2019 Dr. Mike Smith joined the Company due to his proven track record in healthcare. To complete the team, Dr. Yannis Argirakis, with his vast expertise in I.T. and NB-IoT technology, joined the Company as the CTO in 2020. Both have proved to be valuable and indispensable additions to the management. A smart pill dispenser that is designed to help patients keeping track of their daily medication intake that otherwise may require support by family, friends, or professionals.
The Pillsure Pocket was designed and meant to be portable, to enable the patient/user to be mobile whilst away from home. The small device works independently via NB-IoT technology. The user does not need to worry about connectivity issues, since the technology is already built-in via an integrated industrial eSIM powered by 1NCE.
Proper medication can prolong life and enable people to continue to live independently in the community for a longer period of time. However, complex medication regimes can be confusing, and difficult to sustain, especially for the elderly. The Pillsure Pocket solution aims to reduce stress and costs for individuals by supporting them to ensure correct medical intake without being too complex to handle. All functions of the device are programmed remotely via the Pillsure App available for Android or iPhone smartphones. The device runs independently, and the smartphone doesn’t need to be around. Via the App, the carer can
- See where the device (patient/user) is located (Geolocation information based on the last transmission)
- See the battery status of the device
- See the ambient temperature
- Overview of the pill taking times
- History of the pill taking - delay between alert being raised and pill taken
- Receive notifications (emergency button pressed or pill was not taken within a specific time).
- Set the pill taking times
- Set the levels of notifications (buzzer level, vibration level, etc)
- Set Emergency Contact Number
When designing the Pillsure Pocket Dispenser simplicity, mobility and longlivety were a top priority. Similar products on the market were more complex to handle, bound to a fixed location with a local network or needed a smartphone always nearby to provide it with the necessary connectivity. The Pillsure Pocket aims to grant its user maximum flexibility and mobility by working independently from local networks or other devices. However, always-on connectivity is a tricky task when it comes to battery runtime. Also, a solution was needed that doesn’t limit the use within one country.
Pillsure Ltd. chose Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) radio technology. Its longlivety and easy availability is unparalleled. 1NCE already offers NB-IoT connectivity in many countries around the globe at a fixed price with no additional fees that enable hardware manufacturers to easily calculate and integrate connectivity into their devices. With a one-off payment of 10 Dollars the service is available for 10 years and therefore usually over the entire lifetime of a device.