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CES: AT&T offers Internet connection for your pill bottle

January 4, 2011 | 12:11 pm

Vitality

AT&T and Vitality Inc. announced Tuesday at CES that they have teamed up on a new technology that helps patients take their medications regularly by sending reminder calls, weekly e-mail reports and monthly updates to patients and caregivers.

The technology, dubbed Vitality GlowCaps, makes everyday pill bottles "smart." It fits on standard prescription bottles and uses light and sound reminders to alert people when they should take their medication.

If patients still don’t notice, the warning can be followed by a phone call or text message so they don't miss a dose.

The cap is embedded with a light that flashes orange at a preset time when a user is supposed to take the medication. If the cap is not removed within an hour -- signaling that the daily dose has not been taken -- an alarm will sound in the second hour that gradually escalates.

"Each time the pill bottle is opened adherence data is recorded and securely relayed to Vitality over the AT&T wireless network," the companies said in a statement. "This daily adherence information is used to compile periodic progress reports that are sent to patients, caregivers and doctors, and family members."

The data that are generated by GlowCaps can also be used to automatically refill prescriptions. The product is now available on Amazon. It costs $15 a month with a connectivity service plan from Vitality.

Consumers can also sign up to receive a free GlowCap once they are available at their local and/or national pharmacy.

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-- W.J. Hennigan

Image: Flow chart explaining the GlowCap process. Credit: Vitality Inc.

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