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Using smartphone with camera to identify medicine and remind vision impaired user of dosage

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000198700D
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-12
Document File: 3 page(s) / 38K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Described is a device that uses a smartphone along with object recognition technology to notify the visually impaired patient when to take medication and verify that they have selected the correct medication to take.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

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Using smartphone with camera to identify medicine and remind vision impaired user of dosage

Late-in-life blindness presents additional problems for an elderly individual. These include:

The elderly are less likely to learn Braille or other adaptive methods.

The elderly experience an altered perception of time, which is compounded by their reliance on visual cues that are no longer available to them. [1, 2]

For an elderly blind patient, taking medicine poses two challenges: (1) significant issues identifying the proper medicine (2) missing or doubled doses due to incorrect time perception.

There are a significant number of reminder systems available commercially. [3] In addition, combination of two products serves the needs of recently blinded. The two products are a calendar reminder for the blind [4] and a talking prescription bottle [5]. The use of these solutions is cumbersome for the user because these are two separate products requiring maintenance and setup for all devices. Also, the two-product solution is more expensive because it requires a device for each prescription in addition to the talking calendar.

The solution described here uses disposable stickers and software on an existing multi-function device for minimum configuration. It also allows the user to use any type of container that will accept a round sticker (liquid bottle, blisterpack, etc.), unlike the existing commercial product of talking medicine bottle that is for pills in the standard container.

The invention uses a smartphone, software, optionally a PC and transmission channel connecting the smartphone and the PC, and disposable round stickers with unique combinations of two colors.

Either the pharmacy or a sighted family member enters medicine name, audio queue, dosage, and identifying sticker on the medicine bottle. This information is transmitted to the smartphone. The smartphone gives the audio cue (either an mp3 file or specific beep/ringer) at the dosage time. The user, by tactile positioning of the hands, picks up the medicine bottle they think is correct and clicks the programmable button on the smartphone three times. The smartphone takes a picture of the bottle and verifies whether it is the correct medication; if the sticker matches the sticker for the medicine, then the user has the correct medication. If it does not match the sticker for the medicine, then the user keeps trying until a match is found.

Existing literature documents object recognition methods. [6, 7, 8]

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This invention is designed to be set up in different ways:

1. On the smartphone as a sole unit

2. On a PC and transmitted to the smartphone via a transmission channel

The following describes setup on a smartphone as the sole device.

1. The smartphone is initially programmed with normal day start time, volume levels, and preference for ringtone/beep or voice prompts/acknowledgements.

2. A sighted family member or pharmacists enters the following information in the c...