For years, medicine has either come in bottles, or blister packaging — the cards with peelable lamination over single dose units — but a new startup is introducing an innovative way to package and administer medicine.
Technically speaking, the Amiko Inhaler is a wearable activity tracker that wraps around medical packaging, which means it’s basically a personal medical assistant with a built-in inhaler. Though there have been scores of other such devices that monitor wearers’ health signs before, Amiko is the first one designed to inform, alert, and remind wearers to take the right dosages of medication and alert them when they’re nearly out of their medicines.
“We created a wearable that automatically collects data about usage, helping patients stay on track with their meds, providing instant feedback and eliminating errors due to prescription timing and dosage,” says Amiko’s President Duillio Macchi.
Right now, the Amiko Inhaler is designed to fit on five common medicine packages, but there are plans in place to make it more versatile. Next iterations of the inhaler will hopefully be able to fit blister packages and the like.
“Amiko helps people become more mindful of their medication-related behaviours. At the same time, Amiko provides support so they feel more lighthearted about it,” notes the startup’s website. “Making the lives of chronic patients and those around them easier — that is what Amiko is about.”
To some, the idea may sound pretty odd. A wearable medical device? However, hospitals see hundreds of people every day because they didn’t remember to take their medicine as scheduled or directed. In fact, more than one in three medicine-related hospitalizations happen because the patient failed to take his or her medicine as directed, and about 125,000 people die every year as a result.
“We learned medication adherence is a huge global problem and thought there had to be a way to use advanced motion and weight change algorithms, dedicated high-tech sensors and Bluetooth to devise a solution,” notes Macchi.
The Amiko Inhaler will be available in the second quarter of 2015.