A medication tracking and organization device that
supports the caretakers of Glioblastoma patients.
Project: Personal Medical Device
Duration: 10 Weeks
WHAT IS GLIOBLASTOMA?
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive cancer that begins in the brain. Symptoms include vision impairment, loss of balance, and seizures. The survival rate is 11-15 months. Those diagnosed end up needing a full time caretaker and that role is often filled by family members.
This makes our view of who the stakeholder might be a bit different.
Keith and Kathie
Diagnosed with Glioblastoma.
After Keith's surgery, the tumor's symptoms arise again due to regrowth. Over its course, his cognitive abilities fail and he becomes more and more dependent on Kathie.
Keith's full time caretaker and wife.
Kathie is then in charge of everything. Watching him to minimize falls, reading for him, reacting to his seizures, and tracking the numerous pills he has to take every day.
So how can we help? What can be improved?
LACK OF TRACKABILITY
After diagnosis, patients are expected to find a way to care for themselves, without institutional medical support.
LACK OF SUPPORT
During treatment, important patient information is often misunderstood, increasing the risk of mistreatment.
"If it weren't for us being so organized, we would have missed so many medication doses. And it is still a fear"
Through research, it was clear to see the many complications of living with and caring for someone with Glioblastoma. However it wasn't until I heard this that I was able to define my direction.
At first, there were three directions.
Pill Bottle Identification
Analog Sorting System
With further development and research, it seemed that the pill bottle identification offered the most opportunities and had not yet been looked at.
This lead to Glide.
By using simple technology and a basic form and system, it is easily usable and helpful. Based on pharmacy organizers, Glide becomes compatible and helpful to any caretaker. Allowing them to spend more time with the patient and less time worrying about medications.
By using RFID (Radio-frequency identification), stickers are placed on the pill bottles and are identified by the reader in the platform. This allows the platform to know exactly where each pill bottle is.
An LED (Light-emitting diode) matrix visualizes the medication schedule. When its time to take the pill, the LEDs will light up underneath the bottle and follow it as you drag it to the information section on the right side of the board. An LCD display then tells you how many pills to take and when.
When it is time to take/give the medications, the LED matrix lights up underneath the pill bottle. This lets the user know what pills need to be taken.
As the bottle is moved to the right side of the platform, the LCD screen displays the exact number of doses to take, when the last dose occurred and when the next one will occur.
As there are often multiple medications to take at the same time, the platform has an indent to place the pills while still collecting the rest so that all can be handed out at once.
The Glide app has 5 main functions.
Tracking the medication schedule, notifying when medications need to be taken, showing vital conditions, communication with the provider, and visualizing the lasting effects of the medications.