You forgot to take your med today. Please do it untill you leave home

This topic started in another thread but seems there is some interest (@paddy0174) to continue discussion.

The idea is to get notification if a person did not actually take his daily portion of medicine/ table(s). There should not be an addition step in daily routing like “press button to confirm you took med and if you did not press the button HA will notify”.

One of a discussed solution is to build some kind of “smart scale” (ESP based) which will measure and expect lowering of the med basket total weigh and raise and a message if either there was no change or the weigh changes not correctly (this is in case there are more than one tablets should be taken daily but not all of them were taken. I expect the solution should detect which one was missed). This all can be integrated with Grocy to control moment when addition med boxes should be requested/ bought (and this moment should be detected right before weekends).

This is seems ok but what I have found on ebay is the most accurate load cell measures only 0-100 g. I suspect it might not be enough. But I really did not try and experimented myself, probably it is ‘false fear’.

So, please share your ideas/solutions in this subject.


You could put the medicine in a place that can easily controlled via a motion detection. If motion is detected, an input boolean is toggled. If this doesn’t happen within a defined time or if a leaving-home-automation is triggered, the medicine automation will be triggered.

That’s a good idea @pedolsky! At least it is something like a PlanB. :slight_smile:

I’m fortunately not in an urgent need for such a medication reminder, but my mother-in-law is nearing her 70th birthday, so the time for this will come eventually. :smiley:

My idea was to put a weighing sensor under a pill box like one of these.

Note: all links go to
Weighing sensor: here or here
Tablet box: here or here

My idea was, to just measure the difference between filling up the boxes (save this in an input_number) and then just look if the difference is more than x gr. :slight_smile: Or am I totally wrong in thinking this could work?

I just don’t see the practicability to measure one tablet and then look for exactly that difference. IMHO to many variables would be involved here. Other brands, other doses…someone would have to take care of all these things while not annoying the recipient. If I’d ask my mother-in-law every second day if she had taken her meds…puuuhhhhhh…I’m quite sure this wouldn’t end in a nice discussion… :smiley:

EDIT: I have both sensors here (left over from a bed occupancy sensor) and I just ordered the black tablet box from the link above. Time to start experimenting :smiley: :+1:

Smart prescription bottles have been a thing for some time now. It’s a matter of finding one with an api.


After digging through that page most are proof of concept only. Pilsy seems to be the only one available to consumers right now.

RxCap looks promising and references an api, whether it will be open is another thing. They’re partnered with epic, which is a major software provider for hospitals, so probably not.

Reading through gave me the idea of possibly using nfc or rfid tags with a scanner.


Stick a sticker tag on it and use the Tags/app automation. Works flawlessly for me, and at $0.10 per (ish) it can just be rewritten with each new bottle.

Or you can use a non-sticker one (like a coin) and just put it near the bottle.

Sounds nice, but wouldn’t this mean that you have to scan the tag?

Perhaps on the bottom of the bottle and store it atop a reader.

You can grab a scanner/reader as mikefila said.

This is unfortunately nothing that would work in Europe. :frowning: How this is outside of the US and Europe, I can’t say, but at least here we don’t have pill bottles :rofl: Pills come in cartons and blisters and are all different. I do know the US-american pill bottles, but haven’t seen anything like that over here.

And for most people I know, that have to take a lot of medicine (=different pills), they at least sort them for the day, but most do this once a week into one of the pill boxes I linked above. The boxes are paid for by health insurance, so they are very wide spread… :slight_smile:

The typical use case (here) is like that: Once a week you sit down with your cartons and start sorting the pills into these boxes. They are labeled by day and have three compartments, one for “morning”, “lunch” and “evening”. Once you’re done, you put the boxes back and just pull out one each day from the bottom. If the day is over, you put it back on top, so you have always the actual box to pull out the next day. :slight_smile:

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Exactly, in EU pills are in packs and tablet should be picked out from it. what is more such pack sometimes has day of week marks [Mon, Tue,Wed ,] printed, this really helps, sometimes not… sometimes a pill should be taken 1hr before breakfast, sometimes every second day… sometimes a half of pill should be consumed only. the schedules can really go crazy.
But i was supersized by existence of this market with smart bottles @Mikefila mentioned. May be it will be possible to come up with something “even smarter” based on that… but EU specific.

I discussed this idea (weighing meds to determine if they were “taken”) and came away a bit wiser about its limitations. Basically, it might be practical for some situations but not others.

Some medication is in pill form that is so small that each one weighs less than a gram. Unless there’s a significant difference between the weight of one pill from another, differentiating meds based on weight might be impractical.

Even if there’s no need to differentiate the meds, the scale needs to be sensitive (and accurate) enough to detect at least 0.1 grams. An acquaintance was kind enough to allow me to weigh some pills (using a sensitive postage scale) and the smallest one weighed 0.07 g and the next smallest 0.29 g. At the same time the device must be resistant to de-calibration (or damage) by the downward force of a finger inserted into the narrow compartment of a tablet box to retrieve a tiny pill.

There’s also the issue of packaging, be it pre- or re-packaging, that paddy0174 mentioned. Some people use tablet boxes to re-package their meds (arriving in pill bottles or other format) into daily doses (or whatever interval they need). Alternately, they might choose to have the pharmacy do this for them, arriving in a blister-pack (where I live, local pharmacies offer this as a free service for seniors). Weighing the blister pack is impractical and fishing out a tiny pill from a tablet box attached to a weighing device sounds somewhat awkward.

I don’t mean to discourage anyone from attempting to construct this ‘pill-scale’ but, before building it, they should be aware of how its intended audience will be using it; its suitability depends on the user’s situation.

FWIW, I was directed to this device from Philips which basically operates like a smart ‘gumball machine’ that dispenses meds based on a schedule. I don’t know much more about it; I may be wrong but it appears the meds might have to come pre-packaged in a format suitable for the dispenser.

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seems they all follow the same principle - a dispenser must be refilled by a user periodically

That’s interesting I would have thought that the individual packaging of pills would be wasteful from a recycling standpoint. The EU in general seems from my side stricter than the US when it comes to packaging.

Pill bottles are definitely quite common and newer pharmacies have automated dispensing machines to count, label and bottle a prescription.

Back to the task at hand does the scale need to realize a pill was taken or just that the box was moved and replaced?

If you are talking about just reminding someone who wants to take their meds then keep it simple to a reminder. Pressing a big button is the simplest idea, for what we are most likely talking about, an older person. Attach a rtttl buzzer to remind them. Have a watchdog on the button, so if they remember first they press then no buzzer.
Compliance needs to be good for it to work. That is they want to take the meds. If poor compliance they will always find a way round it.

For better compliance you need an ED-209.

You could just retask the ha security bot. That would be cool if you dispensed the meds to the bot then have the bot come to you.

Good luck.

I advise you to carefully circumscribe the problem your’re trying to solve. I have to take 16 medications a day these days, and I looked into the solutions available and what could be created, and I’ve decided to put all of that on the back burner.

In my case the problem to solve is simply forgetting to take my medications. I just use Medisafe on my Android phone and it does everything I want. It is NOT foolproof. I have to press buttons to indicate every medicine that I take. I could tell it that I took a medication that I did not take. I could drop a pill to the floor and not notice. Etc. But I’ve decided that it is good enough for my case.

I should say that a lot of the solutions out there that work with detectors to know the user has taken the pills have these problems:

  • Not big enough. My pill won’t all fit in it. That’s a big recurring problem.

  • Not flexible enough with the “time of days” available. Right now, I need “breakfast”, “morning”, “supper” and “evening”. But a lot of boxes don’t have “morning”. They have “lunch”. You can always use “lunch” as “morning” but there was a time I needed to take something at lunch so I had to put the morning pill and lunch pill together in the same box and remember which is which. Oh, and this also meant that when I took my “morning” pill the “lunch” box was getting only partially emptied. You’d have to have something super precise to know that I took the pill I needed.

Some solutions out there seem to be made for people who have declining cognitive function, and that’s where things can get super complicated, fast.

But again, good luck!

That’s a lot of meds, pill pack was bought by amazon and I know they were looking for eu approval, I’m guessing that’s where you are. Pill pack takes all your prescriptions and makes individual bags with a date, time of day and all the pills required for that time slot.