TabSafe automating the pill dispenser

TabSafe also issues alarms and lights up when you forget to take your meds. If you're out it calls you, and your caregivers. Plus a report is generated.

When my mom came over for a visit over the holidays we compared pill dispensers.

Mom is 86 and takes several prescription medications. I'm 55 and, while I take just two prescription meds, I also take a host of supplements.Each day there are nine pills

I'm fine. It's genetic. My late father had real high cholesterol, and statins didn't come out until he was nearly 70. His blood pressure was tough to control too. He had his first heart attack at age 48.

Now we're blessed with knowledge of how to control cholesterol, and I no longer even notice my hypertension.

Even with pill dispensers, however, you forget. I forgot one morning last week. I looked at my weekly dispenser and found 5 pills under Wednesday morning. Oopsie.

Well, for some people this is more than an oopsie. So at CES an Atlanta-area company called TabSafe showed off their solution.

Their dispenser is filled once a month, into a cartridge. That's easier than doing it manually every week.

But TabSafe also issues alarms and lights up when you forget to take your meds. If you're out it calls you, and your caregivers. Plus a report is generated, displayed on a personal Web site if you're up for it, or your caregiver's workstation if you're not.

Yeah, I know. This sounds like something you'd see in a nursing home. That's the primary market. But as more Americans age in place, at home, and as our pill load increases, the market grows.

TabSafe hopes this is just the start. They're working on integration with monitors for blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight that you can wear. They're also working on integration with cellular networks, not just for the outbound calls but for the collection of data while you're out and about.

When this stuff started being imagined early in the last decade I called it "always on" technology, because motes and sensors can be continually taking readings, and reacting, over any wireless network. The name never caught on.

But the idea did. And thank goodness. For mom's sake today. And mine tomorrow.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com