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Smart Healthcare Pill Dispenser for Medicine Reminder

using IoT and Android Phones

A Title Proposal

Submitted to
The Faculty of College of Engineering Education
University of Mindanao

In Partial Fulfilment
of the Requirements for the Degree
Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering

Submitted by

Marvin Roy P. Artiaga

Froilan N. Jimeno II
Briely Jay A. Briz
July 2019

Research Title: Smart Healthcare Pill Dispenser for Medicine Reminder using IoT and Android

Proponents: Marvin Roy P. Artiaga

Briely Jay A. Briz

Froilan N. Jimeno II

A. Description of the study

1. Rationale:
As pills have taken such an important role in everyday life there has been the past
years an increase in the number of medical neglect cases related to incorrect medication
given to patients, such as the case of the nurse who gave a patient a paralytic instead of an
antacid that was prescribed by the doctor causing the patient’s death [1]. It has been observed
that people in general neglect their health and give preference to other things than taking their
medicines [2]. This is also the reason they forget to take their prescriptions on time [2].
Setting alarm clocks is a tiresome task in which patients are too lazy to set again and again.
However, many patients and especially old people do not take their medicines in the correct
quantity. Elderly people face this problem because of their degrading memory and in severe
cases, forget that they have already taken their prescription and retake the same medicine 2 or
3 times in the same duration [3]. In some instances, there’s a lot of patients in a hospital that
can’t be accommodated at a time by the caretakers or nurses which they need another way to
solve or manage this kind of situational problem. It is important to design and implement low
cost useful programmable reminding system to help those patients. This system can remind
people about dose time, dose amount of medication and sending a message notification to
nursing staff for more accuracy and reliability. It alerts the patients by beating alarm and
through a phone call to the patient at the scheduled time. Sometimes even after the alarm, if
the patients do not take any
medicines then it will notify the caretaker/ nursing staff through messages, phone calls
and by displaying live data on the server.

2. Objectives of the Study

2.1 General Objectives:

The main objective of this study is to conceptualize, design and create a smart pill
dispenser prototype intended to solve this deficiency in the medical area as it can
sort out the pills by itself as well as many other advanced features. This smart
pillbox is focused on patients who frequently take medications or vitamin
supplements, or attendants who deal with the more patient.

2.2 Specific Objectives:

1. To design a smart system by using a smartphone that could be applicable
to the field of medicine.
2. To conceptualized and construct a circuit according to the design.
3. To create a pill dispensing machine system.
4. Develop a program that will drive the system in such a way that patients
receive their medication reliably and safely as prescribed by their
5. To perform a function test.
a) Calibrate the dispensing amount.
b) Transmission accuracy and its consistency.
c) Reset system
d) Security password of the system.
e) Processor controlled automation for pill dispensing.
f) Notification system
6. To show the construction cost of the prototype Smart Pill Dispenser.
3. Conceptual Framework

From figure 3.1, shows the conceptual framework of operation which falls under three
sets of classification, namely input, process, and output. The first set is the input, which are the
physical requirements and functional requirements needed for the system. The second is the
process, which was the gathering of data, designing, constructing, programming and testing of
the system. The third was the output, the Smart Pill Dispenser using IOT and Android phones.
Gathering data related to
the studies.
Mobile Phones
Designing of the device.
Constructing of the circuit
Microcontroller according to the design.
Smart Healthcare Pill
Power Supply Develop a program that will
drive the system in such a way Dispenser using IOT
Real Time Clock that patients receive their and Android Phones.
medication reliably and safely as
Motor Controller
prescribed by their physician.
Pill Container
Testing the functionality of the

Figure 3.1 Conceptual Framework of the Study

4. Methodology
In the prior art, pill dispenser has limited use, doesn't fit for elder ages or even has a big size
that makes it not suitable to take it with you anywhere. In Ref. [4], a pillbox based on an MCS-51
micro-controller was proposed; that pillbox can send out medicine using a stepper motor at a
scheduled time, but there was no provision to record the time when the patient took the medicine. In
Ref. [5], an intelligent pillbox (IPB) was proposed. The IPB is based on the medicine bag system,
and the IPB sends a medicine bag out of the box at the appropriate time. If the patient does
not take the medicine bag away, the IPB would notify the caregivers via Skype. The IPB system
improves the interactivity between patients and caregivers, but it works well only if an internet
connection is available. In Ref. [6], an electronic pillbox called Med Tracker was proposed; in the
Med Tracker, the time at which each lid was opened or closed is recorded and transmitted to PC via a
Bluetooth link. However, the Med Tracker does not provide any remind or confirm functions. In Ref.
[7], developed a medication safety and to avoid confusion in taking tablet among the elderly, this
paper proposed pillbox containing an alert sound to the user for a particular time and real-time clock
gives continuous-time as an output. In Ref. [8] proposed a platform for wireless connection
monitoring and control of a Smart Home. Therefore, the difference of our propose system to the said
prior art above is that we have a security input password system, which the device will be used only
by; doctors, keepers, and patients without significant disorders. They would only program the device
with a personal password. Aside from the security system password, we also have two ways of
inputting the data and two ways of receiving the input data. The first is the two ways for inputting
data, it can be the nurse/caretakers' mobile phones or the keypad of the prototype itself. Next is the
two ways of receiving the data, it can be the patient mobile phone or the buzzer with blinking lights
installed to the system. In the figure below, we use the block diagram to show the process of our
system. First, we have our system security password as a start then we can input data through mobile
phones or system keypad. By using mobile apps, it sends the data to the microcontroller which
process the time for pills. And if the time set for pills matches with the present time of the system it
will give an alarm that it’s time to take pills utilizing patient's mobile phones and buzzer with
blinking lights of the system itself leaves the patience no choice but to remember the pill time. The
patient has two options for pushbutton whether to press “Yes” or “No”. If he or she presses the button
“YES” then the microcontroller will control the stepper motor and drop the pills. And if it is “NO” or
the amount of time passes without the patient pressing the pushbutton of the pill dispenser will emit a
wireless notification which will alert the nurse/caregiver in charge or patient family or relatives that
there is a pill pending to be taken by the patient of that particular pill dispenser.
System Security

Mobile Phones Keypad

of the Caretaker
or Nurse


Set time pill matches

Set the time for Alarm time to System Buzzer
with the time of the
pills take pills and Lights

Alarm Mobile
Phones of the



Motor Driver
Mobile App
Drop Pills Notify nurse or patient relatives Show take pills
on pending pills in the machine history

Figure 4.1 Flowchart of the Smart Pill Dispenser
4.2 Software Implementation

This section will present the main software developed in order to monitor, analyze
and control the pills taken by the patient. Thus, it will be divided into three parts:

• Microcontroller Programming
• Phone Application
• Security System

4.3 Hardware Implementation

Hardware design of smart pill dispenser health care system includes various
hardware like:
• Keypad 4x4
• Arduino Uno
• LCD20x4
• Pill container
• Buzzer and LED
• Stepper motor
• Mobile Phones

B. Scope of Work (Expected Output)

The expected output of our proposed project is to make better results as many brands in
the field, reach maximum quality with the lowest cost possible, user friendly, safe system and
together with the aid of our target which is to alert the patients by monitoring with the regular
dose he or she must take during the allotted time. We should be looking for reaching to the
patient to his mobile phone as this the most suitable and dependable utility he or she has, also
the same can be done with the family, relatives or even the nurse. It has the facility to send
alarms three times a day. In this way, this smart pill dispenser will help to increase life
expectancy for those of older as well as younger aged adults.
C. Research study Duration
The proponent’s research project is estimated to be finished by one year and a half.

D. Approximate Budget to Complete the Study

The approximate budget to complete this project would be Fifteen thousand to twenty
thousand (P15, 000 - P20, 000).

[1] PK Nijiya Jabin Najeeb, Aysha Rimna, KP Safa, M Silvana, TK Adarsh, "Pill Care-The Smart
Pill Box with Remind Authenticate and Confirmation Function", ICETIETR Emerging Trends
and Innovations in Engineering and Technological Research International Conference on, pp. 1-
5, 2018.

[2] T.L. Hayes, J.M. Hunt, A. Adami and J.A. Kaye, “An electronic pillbox for continuous
monitoring of medication adherence,” in proceesings of the 28th IEEE EMBS Annual International
Conference, Aug. 30-Sept. 3, 2006.

[3] Diaa Salama Abdul Minaam, Mohamed Abd-ELfattah, “Smart drugs:Improving healthcare
using Smart Pill Box for Medicine Reminder and Monitoring System” Nov. 29, 2018. Available

[4] Kuo GH-W. Research and implementation of intelligent MedicalBox. Kaohsiung, TW:
Department of Electrical Engineering, I-Shou University; 2009.

[5] S.-C. Huang, H.-Y. Chang,Y.-C. Jhu and G.-Y. Chen, “The intelligent pill box-design and
implementation,” in Proceedings of the IEEE international conference on consumer electronics,
May 26-28, Taiwan.

[6] Hayes TL, Hunt JM, Adami A, Kaye JA. An electronic pillbox for continuous monitoring of
medication adherence. In: Processing’s of the 28th IEEE EMBS annual international conference,
September 2006.

[7] Shinde Shashank, Kadaskar Tejas, Patil Pushpak, Barathe Rohit. A smart pill box with remind
and consumption using IOT. 2017.

[8] Lin F-T, Kuo Y-C, Hsieh J-C, Tsai H-Y, Liao Y-T, Lee HC. A self-powering wireless
environment monitoring system using soil energy, 2015.