Two things really grab my attention – Pharmacy & Technology. So when I come across a product that seems to blend both these interests, and additionally offers a real solution to a common patient problem, I’m all ears. That’s why I was excited to discover the MedMinder Automatic Pill Dispenser system, and the man behind the scenes who developed it, CEO Eran Shavelsky. Eran is a fellow resident of Massachusetts, and a graduate of the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). MedMinder is a patient-focused company, which, according to their website “is a healthcare services company that empowers seniors, the chronically ill, and people with disabilities to maintain their independence and avoid long term care facilities and hospitalization.” MedMinder has been featured on CNN, NBC, Fox News and The Boston Globe. We are very pleased and honored to be able to introduce MedMinder to our readers here at The Honest Apothecary.
1) Eran, thanks for answering a few questions about your product. First, could you explain for my readers exactly what MedMinder is?
MedMinder is a pill dispenser that reminds the patient to take their medications by blinking, then beeping, and then finally calling the user if meds are still not taken. MedMinder enables the caregivers and family to monitor the patient remotely as there is a cellular device embedded in the pillbox. For example, you could set up a pill schedule for your mom who is retired in Florida from your computer in Boston.
You can also personalize the notifications on the medication dispenser to call/text/e-mail the patient and caregivers on the account when they are not adhering to their pill schedule.
2) Could you share with my readers a little about yourself and your own personal background with this product? Are you the owner/developer? I am the owner and CEO of the company.
I am the founder and CEO of MedMinder. During my time at MIT, I learned about the medication adherence problem for seniors at home. I wanted to find a way to provide a simple product that helps the family, caregiver and pharmacy monitor the patient remotely.
3) When did the concept for MedMinder begin and how long has it been on the market?
The MedMinder pill dispensers began five years ago and has been on the market for four years.
4) Who is MedMinder for? What type of patient would be a typical MedMinder client?
Generally, MedMinder is for anyone who has having trouble maintaining their medication schedule.
The typical MedMinder user would be a family member living at home who needs help to stay independent. MedMinder is for someone who takes several medications, who also wants to maintain their independence.
5) As a pharmacist we are always trying to find effective ways to encourage patients to take their medications. I know there are lots of products on the market. Is there something that sets MedMinder apart from other medication management systems?
MedMinder is simple to use. It looks like a regular pillbox you’d find in a pharmacy. There is no need for a phone line because it functions with a cellular connection. Another unique feature is the data collection and reporting components, where the MedMinder records the patient’s adherence to their pill schedule or lack thereof and produces reports based on that information.
Also, we offer pre-fill trays that you can fill in advance and have the patient and/or caregiver place into the machine for the next refill. You could also drop off the pre-fill trays at your pharmacy for them to fill for you.
We currently have two versions of pill dispenser: pill dispenser that does not lock and allows the user to take out any meds. And a locked pill dispenser and one that is a locked medication dispenser that prevents the senior from taking the wrong pills.
In the near future, we are launching a pill dispenser with a medical alert button that’s built into the pill dispenser and pendants that come with that.
6) Also, knowing the type of products we dispense in a pharmacy, there are obviously SOME prescriptions that simply don’t fit in a MedBox (patches, large tablets, liquids, creams). Does MedMinder have any way to help remind patients to take these sorts of meds too?
Large tablets do fit in. But for stuff that does not fit in, they can still use MedMinder to remind them when to take those medications, but they cannot store them in the device.
7) What is the cost of the MedMinder system?
The MedMinder is a rental. The non-locking unit called the Maya is $39.99 per month. The Jon, the locking unit, is 59.99 per month.
8) What has been your favorite part of being associated with the MedMinder product?
The most rewarding aspect of the MedMinder is hearing back from the families. The MedMinder was their solution to helping their parents or grandparents continue to live in their homes, to help maintain their independence. We receive so much positive feedback, it helps keep us going. Click this link MedMinder Reviews to see some of the letters we received from families and they gave their consent to share.
9) How can my readers get more information about this product?
Checking out our website: www.medminder.com
Click on the “Products” tab of the website, and then scroll down to the “General Info” section where you will see a link to “Download our Brochure.”
Eran, I want to thank you again for introducing this fabulous piece of innovation to our readers. If any readers have a question about this product, please feel free to ASK BELOW or simply visit the MedMinder website.
Listen to a pharmacist’s endorsement of the MedMinder system: