A new Bluetooth-enabled bottle cap called Pillsy is designed to prevent people from forgetting their pills. The device launches today for $39 and will remind you to take both medicine and vitamins, or really, whatever you need daily.
Pillsy syncs with a companion iOS / Android app that pulls information about different drugs from an FDA database. You can enter the name of a medication, the dosage amount, and what time you want to take it every day. Reminders will then come in the form of a text message, phone call, or lock screen reminder. Of course, all this medical information is sensitive, so Pillsy says it’s HIPAA-compliant, meaning it can’t sell your data.
None of this functionality is actually more useful than a reminder app or alarm. But the bigger idea behind Pillsy, or why it might be better than just setting an alarm on your phone, is because it gives caretakers or parents peace of mind. Users can add helpers to their app who will also receive an alert if a dose is missed. Eventually the company plans to release an app specifically for caretakers.
The device is available in two different sizes: a child-resistant standard pharmacy cap and a vitamin vial. The battery is supposed to last a year and can be replaced with any coin cell at home.
While a smart pill cap is an intriguing idea, it isn’t foolproof. Just removing the top of the bottle suggests you’ve taken the pill, so anyone with some sense could game the system. Also, if you’re out of the house, aka out of the Bluetooth range, you’ll get a reminder to take your medicine, but because you’re not home, well, there’s nothing you can really do. Plus, you’ll likely need multiple caps if you take a bunch of medicine at different times. Maybe eventually we’ll see a smart Pillsy pillbox, but until then, you’ll have to stock up on individual caps, which isn’t ideal. A Bluetooth pillbox already exists, too, and even has similar functionality for helpers.