The customer, or in this project the device sponsor, Dr. Jim Browning of Boise State University, gave the Senior Design team a list of functions he requested be incorporated into the design of the Pill Box.
- No secured pills
- No requirement of the user to tilt the device to access their pills
- No requirement of the user to retrieve their pills from a small compartment
- Pills to be given in a cup
- 28 Pill taking times
- Programmable morning, noon, afternoon and even dosages
- Large text screen
- Large buttons for programming
- Programming on off switch
- No in depth programming menus
- Retrievable user activity
- Alert to remind user of proper pill taking times
- Alert to discourage user of improper pill taking times
- Audio alert
- Visual alert
- Light weight
- Small enough for easy travel
- Battery power (2+ hours)
- Wall plug-in power
- Well under 1000$ to manufacture
Based on those requests and various analysis of feasible device objectives, the following engineering specifications were used in the device design and final product.
Power Cord uses a standard 120V/15A standard us outlet
Readily available outlet type. Also easily attached to a travel power adapter.
Battery Life > 4 hrs.
Allows device to function on short trips away from home.
No in-depth menus
Entering dosage schedule < 5 minutes
Device training < 30 minutes
Enables short training times and reduced confusion in the proper utilization of the device.
Programmable option for early dosage up to an hour
Grants a flexible dosage schedule for busy days.
Cost less than $700 to produce.
Keeps device within reasonable budget for future manufacturing opportunities.
Pills are in a cup
Requires minimum dexterity requirements by the patient.
Pill containment requires less than 4 lbs. of force to access outside of scheduled times
Reduces chances of lawsuits. If the power goes out, the user will still be able to access their pills.
Pills would be contained if device is subjected to 3 lbs. of force
Allows for jostling during travel without the concern of spilled pills Enables device to hold enough pills for 4 dosages a day for 7 days
4 adjustable pill taking times
Allows for adjustability in scheduled reminder times
Visual Indicator: 1000 mcd. light output
Audio Alarm System: 80 dB
Ensures the patient is made aware that it is time for their dosage. The alarm will be easily seen checking to take pills. 80 dB was chosen to ensure that a hearing impaired patient might be able to hear a reminder. 80 dB is the equivalent to an alarm clock 2 ft. away.
Data Storage for at least 512 Mb Transferable Data
Allows the caregiver to view pill-taking patterns of the patient. Gives enough space for more than 2 weeks of action logs.
Programming On/Off Option
Prevents patient from accidently re-programming the device.
Fits within a traveling bag
Lightweight < 10 lbs.
Allows for easy device transportation
Thus, the primary goals used within the project to define success were as follows:
Limited user and caregiver training required
Quick pill loading procedure
Sturdy and durable device
Limited maintenance required