AdhereTech is a web-connected pill bottle capable of transmitting its information to the web to provide dosage reminders to its user. Designed with patented capacitive sensing to improve outcomes, reduce insurance costs, and collect secure data about medication usage, the AdhereTech bottle is an important contribution to the health care technology market.
Tomorrow Lab provided a full 360° service in developing the AdhereTech bottle, including leading the Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and provisional on-bottle Software and Service Design of the product.
The Industrial Design and Interaction Design of the bottle maintain a balance between the familiar semantics of a medication pill bottle (i.e. child proof cap, cylindrical shape, white plastic), while adding a touch of intelligence and technology (i.e. backlit pill 'gauge' window, base with edge glow, and a rubber foot). The oval shape of the bottle allows better leverage on the cap for arthritic users. An internal lighting and sound scheme calmly alerts the user at appropriate intervals according to the particular medication regiment.
We conducted ergonomic consideration studies with cardboard mockups to discover the best shape and appropriate dimension envelopes for reaching and dispensing pills. Early form explorations of the pill bottle shape focused on the development and discovery of copper layout designs that created well-performing capacitive measurements of pills inside the bottle which were later explored in the product architecture.
In addition, we created comprehensive mapping of the Service Design to cover Prescriptions & Ordering, Product Delivery, Sending and Receiving Adherence Data, and Returns of the AdhereTech bottle.
The bottle's patented, flexible capacitive sensor is a key product feature which lends a technical ability not found in other products. The capacitive sensor, developed in-house, is embedded inside the bottle and allows the bottle to measure the contents inside itself. This data is securely transmitted (along with temperature, humidity, time, and other parameters) to the web as part of AdhereTech's service offering. Tomorrow Lab iteratively developed the flexible capacitive sensor through many variations in form, material, and assembly method to arrive at an appropriate balance of performance efficacy and production cost.
When determining the Product Architecture, we had to accomodate the following: material selection for FDA compliance, part design for ease of manufacture, and a 2-part strategy for easy assembly. The bottle accomplishes all three of these while also housing a sophisticated battery, antenna, and PCB system. A leaf lever switch embedded in the rim of cap allows the bottle to detect when the cap has been removed or re-applied. These actions are recognized by the bottle's software to initiate connectivity to the web for data transmissions and other actions.
Using a light-piping technique, we incorporated RGB LEDs into the housing base to provide edge-glow along the product's base. To convey optional user indications, alarms, and warnings, we constructed Interaction scenarios that utilized the user's interaction with the lever switch, app, and the LED patterns.