Researchers Unveil ‘Smart’ Medicine Cabinet
At a "futures" conference held by the Association for Computing Machinery in San Jose last week, researchers from Accenture unveiled a "smart" medicine cabinet, which would notify consumers of a medicine's dosage and potential drug interactions, the Sacramento Bee reports. Inside the cabinet is a flat-panel display screen and a tiny camera designed to recognize the facial features of the person looking at it. A computer in the cabinet reads the name of a medication from the bottle's label, and the screen "displays the name of the medicine, the correct dosage, how many times it has been taken that day and whether it is compatible with other medications the person is taking." The computer can also issue a warning if the wrong person picks up a bottle, and can automatically order a refill when the medicine's supply runs low. The medicine cabinet's makers have also considered linking it to a blood pressure monitor, which could alert a doctor when a person's blood pressure falls too low. Adam Brady, an Accenture researcher, said, "The technology is already there to produce this. Maybe an HMO will provide these to its customers, or maybe [a pharmacy] would subsidize it in exchange for a banner ad" (Swett, Sacramento Bee, 3/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.