So many pills… so little memory

If you’ve ever had a serious or chronic illness you know the routine: a line-up of all the little pills beside the breakfast plate, or maybe one of those little-old-lady boxes with a cubicle for each day, or perhaps a high-end color-coded wheel of medical fortune.

Now, it turns out, for a mere $100+ or so you can have a machine that does it all for you. Counts out the pills, spits them into a little cup, rings a bell when it’s time to pop another, calls your family if you skip something. When technology can address an issue, count on someone to perfect it. Even if its complexity boggles the mind.

Actually, for aging adults who must rely on a whole bunch of pills, these devices turn out to be a real boon. We learned this in a news release just out from the Center for Technology and Aging, through its Medication Optimization Position Paper, which is far more useful than its tongue-twisting name would have you believe.

The Center for Technology and Aging, a non-profit organization that was founded in 2009 with a grant from The SCAN Foundation (,) is affiliated with the Public Health Institute ( It aims to find and advance technologies that help older adults stay independent and lead healthier lives — including technology for monitoring patients, for helping with tasks, social networking… and keeping track of pills.

It turns out, there are pill-counting wonders of every sort and price range. So if you can’t remember which vitamin comes before which super-drug, or you think Mom and Dad won’t remember, there’s a tech-app for that.


  1. I have one with two compartments, AM and PM. They don’t hold many pills — these days I have to take six a day (soon to be three when I come off the steroids for my arthritis) and it makes me feel 1000078 years old. But keeping track of it has to be easy or you screw it up. Especially, God forbid, if some of them look too much like one another.

    1. I surely understand about feeling 1000078, which I almost am without the 100000. I’ve just got vitamins & one cancer pill, but every time the glucosamine (maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t, but why not try…) people come out with something that looks exactly like the extra calcium I want to throw something. At least I’m not in the market for the $100+ dispenser yet.

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