Industry, Slideshow

Wireless Pill Bottle Improves Medication Adherence

health world cupI thought this was a pretty cool announcement (below) from the Healthcare Innovation World Cup. The winners developed a high-tech pill bottle that automatically measures medication and wirelessly sends patent reminders. This is a benefit to the patient since they avoid missing doses, plan ahead for refills and ostensibly have better health outcomes. It’s also smart for the big pharma company sponsoring the competition because staying on track with medications means more profit for them.

Another finalist developed a mobile and web-based rewards program for people with insulin-dependent diabetes who track daily glucoses using a gaming model (see previous post on Gamification of Healthcare). Rewards include weekly prepaid visa cards and a virtual pet, and are based on a social business model.

The contest idea is also a great way to spark innovation from unlikely sources. Impressive all around.


Developers of a pill bottle that wirelessly transmits data, measures medication and sends patient reminders have emerged as grand prize winners in the Healthcare Innovation World Cup, the international diabetes innovation challenge funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and organized by HITLAB.

Winning team members Josh Stein, John Langhauser and Mike Morena of Team AdhereTech from the United States will receive $50,000 in prize money. They earned the top spot by demonstrating the exceptional impact, innovation, feasibility and financial sustainability of their idea, and for engaging with community members via social media.

AdhereTech received its honors at the Healthcare Innovation World Cup finals event on Friday, May 10 at the German Center for Research and Innovation in New York City. Judges selected Team IITKgp for second place, Team SmartSense for third place, and Team EndoGoal as the fourth-place finalist.

First-place AdhereTech has created wireless pill bottles to help improve medication adherence. According to AdhereTech, the bottles measure the exact number of pills in the bottle in real-time, wirelessly send this HIPAA-compliant data into the cloud, and remind patients to take their medication via automated phone call or text message. The devices also record and send adherence data with an unprecedented level of granularity. This summer, AdhereTech, which is based in New York, NY, will begin a trial with The Walter Reed Army Medical Center to test its full-service solution for type 2 diabetes patients. According toJosh Stein, CEO of AdhereTech, there are both issued patents and patents pending for the devices. The company has secured funding, and is actively seeking additional investors. Visit for more information.

“We are impressed with AdhereTech’s prototype and the feasibility of their business model, and believe the solution has merit in supporting medication adherence,” said Klaus Wilgenbus, SVP, PM business development and licensing strategy at Boehringer Ingelheim and Healthcare Innovation World Cup judge. “All of the finalists demonstrated outstanding quality and ingenuity in developing their solutions. It is evident that they are committed to creating innovations with the potential to make a real difference in the lives of people with diabetes and their families.”

The three other finalists were:

  • Team IITKgp, second place winners of $10,000; members Praful P. Pai, Pradyut Kumar Sanki,Satyabrata Sarangi. Team IITKgp is developing a non-invasive blood glucose measurement device, based on photoacoustic spectroscopy, to enable painless, sample-free and accurate glucose measurement for diabetics. Initial measurements performed on tissue have provided an accuracy of nearly 70% compared to reference measurements. The team is working to improve this accuracy and developing a portable prototype device for wide-scale use and commercialization. IITKgp operates from the Department of Electronics & Electrical Communication Engineering on the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. 
  • Team SmartSense, third place winners of $5,000; members Dr. Mayur M. Sadawana, Dr. Rohit Srivastava, and Dr. Yogesh Patil. SmartSense is a multianalyte sensing device for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It is being developed to sense all the metabolites necessary for management of the condition with a single prick. According to team members, it is designed to reduce the pain and economic burden faced by patients with DKA. The developing team of SmartSense is based at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. 
  • Team EndoGoal; members Dr. Jennifer Shine Dyer (Twitter’s @EndoGoddess), and Jeff Harper, DuetHealth. EndoGoal is a mobile and web-based rewards program for people with insulin-dependent diabetes who track daily glucoses. Rewards include weekly prepaid visa cards and a virtual pet, and are based on a social business model. Revenue comes from users’ family-and-friend ‘sponsors.’ For more information about the Columbus, Ohio-based initiative,

“Considering the caliber of these finalists – as well as many other participants in this competition – the future of diabetes innovation is exceptionally bright. We anticipate big achievements for all four finalists, and are excited to follow their trajectories in the healthcare industry,” said Cole Manship, director of the Healthcare Innovation World Cup and manager of new programs and initiatives at HITLAB. “We hope this competition serves as a solid platform for their ongoing success.”

All four teams received $2,500 each for reaching the final round of the competition. Overall, more than 100 teams representing 20 countries around the globe submitted diabetes innovations for the Healthcare Innovation World Cup, which awarded a total $75,000 in prizes to semifinalists and finalists. For more information about the competition and judges, visit

About the Healthcare Innovation World Cup

The Healthcare Innovation World Cup challenges entrepreneurs and innovators in healthcare and information technology to tackle global public health issues. In 2013, the competition invited participants worldwide to propose solutions for improving diabetes prevention and management, offering $75,000 in total prize money and opportunities to showcase their work.

Elizabeth Gooding

Elizabeth Gooding is the editor of the Insight Forums blog and president of Gooding Communications Group

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