Prescription drug adherence is a serious healthcare delivery problem – it leads to health complications for patients who do not keep up with the prescribed timing and dosages, increasing patients risk of having recurring health problems, this also costs the healthcare system millions of dollars in lost revenue and delivery complications. It is estimated, that only about half of patients take medicine as directed six months after it’s been prescribed. Apart from patients that choose to purposely omit doses or take more than their physicians prescribe, for many, especially among the elderly, it is normally attributed to forgetfulness. Several tech businesses, especially those deploying internet of things (IoT) technologies are breaking new grounds in this space. AdhereTech is one of such companies. The solution they sell is a wireless pill bottle that alerts patients when they have to take their meds and keeps track of their usage and dosage. This solution monitors dosage in real-time through the pill bottle, keeping patients continually on track.

Technology Highlights

  • AdhereTech has created patented smart pill bottles that automatically track and improve adherence in real-time. The bottle is built with a number of sensors which detect adherence to a preset customizable medical program. It is programmed to provide discrete alerts and interventions to patients after prolonged non-adherence via automated phone calls, text messages, and app alerts, as well as on-bottle reminders – which include chimes and lightings. It also has a wireless CDMA chip that sends a small amount of data, measuring when the bottle was opened and how many pills were taken.
  • They make use of cellular technology and numerous sensors to automatically send adherence data to AdhereTech’s servers, where analysis occurs in real-time. As patients use AdhereTech bottles, adherence data is wirelessly sent from the bottles to the servers, via the cellular network. The system then automatically compares what patients are doing, to what they should be doing. If a dose is missed, AdhereTech reminds the patient and/or caregiver via a series of customizable features. All messaging is customizable on both the population and individual patient level, with English and Spanish options. If the system notices certain patterns of non-adherence, it can solicit feedback from patients and/or route alerts to live healthcare practitioners for immediate intervention.
  • It is built specifically with the non-engaged patient’s user-experience in mind. The bottles require no setup or learning curve, they are used just like normal pill bottles, down to the standard child-resistant cap. All data is collected and analyzed passively, and the system only intervenes when necessary. The cellular technology allows our bottles to connect from anywhere on the planet and work right out of the box, with no setup.


Photo: AdhereTech

The AdhereTech bottle designs have won many awards and recognition. AdhereTech also offers simple API integration, which allows their data to immediately populate into EMRs, software systems, and apps. As they collect this new class of data, more insights will be developed into the drivers of non-adherence – and the solutions that work for specific types of patients. The company has active customer engagements with a number of top healthcare firms in the United State.

Making everyday objects smarter, as AdhereTech has done, is widely regarded in Silicon Valley as the next big evolution of online technology. Some other tech companies we noted in this space include:

iRx Reminder also an American company based in Cleveland, provides a real-time mobile data capturing application for clinical trials. It enables the users to capture digital and electronic data from patients and study participants. Additionally, the company’s web-based control center enables users to create surveys, medication schedules, and intervention activities.

SMRxT is a health and fitness company founded in 2010 and is based in New York, New York. They also offer a medication platform that quantifies patient adherence behavior in real time. The company offers SMRxT pill bottle and operates a platform that records, monitors, and quantifies adherence behavior; and provides messaging engine that provides stakeholders with actionable data facilitating relevant interventions that change patient behavior.

Pillsy Inc. provides containers and a software application for pills management. It’s containers automatically help users to keep track of when they take pills and sync to their smartphone or tablet using BluetoothSmart; and MedCabinet app provides reminders and the information on pill-taking history, as well as enables users to refill their prescriptions. The company was incorporated in 2015 and is based in Seattle, Washington