Houston inventor finds high-tech way to save lives with smart pill box
HOUSTON - Statistics show that 50% of us do not take our prescription medications the right way. There's a new tool to make sure that the right medications are taken at the right time! A man from Houston came up with the idea, when his loved ones got sick from skipping doses. Now national retailers are offering his high-tech invention.
EllieGrid is a new electronic system and app that takes organizing pills to a whole new level. With Elliegrid, you can receive reminders when it's time to take vitamins, and then don't have to think about which vitamins or prescription medications to take because lights show you which ones to take and how many!
SIGN UP FOR FOX 26 HOUSTON EMAIL ALERTS
"We wanted a name that didn't sound like a medical device. We wanted it to be your friend, Ellie. Elephants have good memory and we remind you to take your medicine. Our little logo is an elephant, so Ellie is short for elephant, and we eventually thought it'd be cool to be able to talk to it and say, 'Hey Ellie, how many pills do I have left,' so it's more personable, more of a friend than a doctor," smiles Abe Matamoros.
He came up with this idea to help save others, with and for his friend, Regina.
"She fainted out of nowhere, and we were luckily able to catch her before she hit the ground! We took her straight to the hospital and after a couple of hours, we found out that she had gotten sick because she hadn't taken her medications as prescribed. She told us it was because she used those pill boxes, you've probably seen them and see Sunday through Saturday on the top with the time periods on the side and they take so long to organize every week, because she has to individually sort each pill into the right compartment, but sometimes she didn't do it. When her pills weren't organized and it was time to take her medicine, she sometimes wouldn't take them," explains Abe.
FOR THE LATEST NEWS UPDATES, DOWNLOAD THE FOX 26 NEWS APP
Then something similar happened to his grandfather.
"I went to visit him and he was lying in bed unable to talk, unable to communicate and unable to move, even though I had just seen him three days before and he was doing fine. Same thing happened with him! He didn't have his pills organized, so then when it was time to take his medicines, he didn't and then he felt worse, so then when you feel worse, you're much less likely to organize it, it just snowballs," states Abe.
He says he wanted to provide a smart pill box that would be considered a fun health accessory, versus a medical device that might come with a stigma, plus make it a lovable brand.
"Each compartment contains one type of medicine, so you're not individually sorting pills, you just pour all of your vitamin D into this one compartment all of your B12 into this compartment or whatever you have. So that whenever it's time to refill, you just pour it in. Now it takes my friend Regina 30 seconds to organize, instead of 30 minutes, and then to set it up, you use an app. You press a compartment on the app and then that compartment lights up on the device, so you know exactly which one you're taking. You put in the name of the medicine, what times you have to take it, then that's it. Whenever it's time to take it, the device will ring and you actually don't need the phone nearby. Once it's set up, the device will ring. You will also receive a notification on your phone that actually comes with a fun fact or a fun riddle, just to give something people something to look forward to. It has sensors on the device that can help you take your medicines or if you miss your medicine, your caregiver can be notified, that can be mom or dad or children," says Abe.
He also says it can save lives!
"My grandfather got sick after two days. And this is the biggest reason people go back to the hospital, it's a huge problem if we can catch that earlier, we can intervene earlier. And as a result - prevent them from getting sick, prevent them from dying and prevent them from being rehospitalized," says Abe.
EllieGrid is available now on their website and at Amazon. It will be available at CVS in July.
For more information: https://elliegrid.com