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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 381493, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/381493
Research Article

Construction of a Smart Medication Dispenser with High Degree of Scalability and Remote Manageability

Computer Engineering Department, Keimyung University, Sindang-dong, Dalseo-gu, Daegu 704-701, Republic of Korea

Received 24 May 2012; Revised 2 June 2012; Accepted 2 June 2012

Academic Editor: Sabah Mohammed

Copyright © 2012 JuGeon Pak and KeeHyun Park. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We propose a smart medication dispenser having a high degree of scalability and remote manageability. We construct the dispenser to have extensible hardware architecture for achieving scalability, and we install an agent program in it for achieving remote manageability. The dispenser operates as follows: when the real-time clock reaches the predetermined medication time and the user presses the dispense button at that time, the predetermined medication is dispensed from the medication dispensing tray (MDT). In the proposed dispenser, the medication for each patient is stored in an MDT. One smart medication dispenser contains mainly one MDT; however, the dispenser can be extended to include more MDTs in order to support multiple users using one dispenser. For remote management, the proposed dispenser transmits the medication status and the system configurations to the monitoring server. In the case of a specific event such as a shortage of medication, memory overload, software error, or non-adherence, the event is transmitted immediately. All these operations are performed automatically without the intervention of patients, through the agent program installed in the dispenser. Results of implementation and verification show that the proposed dispenser operates normally and performs the management operations from the medication monitoring server suitably.