A smart pill bottle able to send a wireless alert at signs of tampering or unsafe storage will increase patient safety.
The stretchy mobile sensor was developed by a team from KAUST by placing silver particles between two layers of copper tape. When the material is pressed, the copper layers will make contact and deliver an electrical signal to an external reader. Using that technology, the team created a smart pill bottle featuring a 3D-printed lid that counts the pills dispensed and an adhesive sensor that tracks humidity and temperature inside the bottle. Finally, the bottle was sealed with a layer of touch-sensitive tape. The sensor array can detect if someone opens the bottle or if the interior becomes moist—triggering an alert that is sent via Bluetooth to a paired device.
According to Muhammed Hussain, the easy-to-build conductive tape could function as part of a modular health sensor system and offer a quick way to test new sensor devices. "If you give researchers a 'do it yourself opportunity,' there is a good chance they will use it to expand the horizon of electronics and empower humanity with better technology."