PillBox is an innovative automatic pill dispenser aiming to bring a revolution in the Indian Pharmacy industry. PillBox is a technology hardware which dispenses relevant drugs at the right time based on doctors’ prescription. During my summer last year, I realized that my grandfather was either not taking medicines regularly or consuming wrong medicines by mistake, leading to psychological and physical pain. There are many patients with decreased satisfaction and a lack of trust in the healthcare system. As per WHO, medication errors cause at least one death every day. The total costs of looking after patients with medication-associated errors exceeds $40 billion each year. In an effort to improve the pill dispensing process, I came up with PillBox. This IoT device is aimed to connect patients with pharmacists and medical professionals to improve the drug prescription and dispensing process. Patients receive a notification based on doctors’ prescription and once notified, PillBox will automatically dispense the right medicine. PillBox will contain a pressure sensor at the tip of outlet to check whether patient actually took the drug from the lid. The technology aims to not only solve one, but address multiple issues: (i) Efficient pill dispensing for citizens (especially senior citizens) who don’t have much knowledge of different drugs (ii) Disposition of expired pills so that patients don’t consume expired medications (iii) Maintain a record of drugs taken in the past by the patient (iv) No sudden shortage of pills by having an integrated platform to order medications (ex. PharmEasy) (v) Feedback system for doctors to check whether patient actually consumed relevant medications In terms of technology, PillBox will contain the following: (i) multiple chips in 10+ dividers for different medicines (ii) pressure sensor at the lid to check whether patient took the medicine, and (iii) scanner to scan manufacturing date, batch number, and expiry date to maintain a record of the medications inside the box. The hardware will be supported by an easy-to-use mobile / website application where patients will receive notifications / track the timings and type of medications. Doctors can access patients’ medication record, and patients will have autonomy to give access rights to doctors and family members. PillBox aims to revolutionize the Indian Pharmacy market by connecting patients, pharmacists, and doctors, tracking and creating feedback loops at every stage. A truly revolutionary product, PillBox is currently an idea with no other direct competitor in the Indian market. While there are some manual pill dispensers available, PillBox is the only IoT device aiming to maintain patient records with authorized users. PillBox aims to improve the inefficiencies of the pharmacy sector and assist everyone who consumes medications regularly. PillBox is certain to create an impact for our senior citizens and prevent deaths in India due to medication errors. PillBox will partner with old-age homes to provide the devices at subsidies.
Automate the complex pill dispensing process, reduce medication errors, and help speedy recovery of senior citizens. Plan is to create a user-friendly interface where right medication can be accessed in moment of seconds.
The project of automatic pill dispenser is to be executed in India as it will cater to the large Pharma market. Under mentorship from Biotech experts, I plan on designing the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in next six months. I will team up with engineers for hardware designing (3-D printing), and configuration of chips based on medication inputs. Once MVP functions, we will develop interface and add the scanning functionality. Lastly, we will be developing UI/UX interface with help from software developers. Over the course of project, we will also research into security systems as dealing with medical records requires the best security protocols. Initially, I plan on making this a B2B product and invest the profits to create a B2C product later. Target audience will include major hospitals, old-age homes and insurance companies with regularly medicated clients.
1. Automatic dispenser with superior technology when compared to the manual dispensers
2. Integrated platform for doctors to track medical records 3. Easy-to-use interface accessible to everyone
1. Hi-tech product making it difficult to use for people with limited internet connectivity
2. Price-sensitive consumers making it a tougher sell for B2C (a better platform for B2B)
1. Reduce medication errors, with a target population of around 70 crores
2. Potential to create the largest-ever proprietary database with potential of cross selling to pharma and drug company
1. Entrance of a foreign competitor with infrastructure based in developed countries
2. Cyber-attack although can be mitigated with best-in-class security protocols
PillBox will be seeking venture capital / funding from government to finance the projects. VC firms like Sequoia, Accel and others are actively investing in the bio-technology space. PillBox will also take part in funding pitches to the government with a promise to provide a subsidized product to government hospitals and Ayushman Bharat. I aim to ultimately finance the project with debt once IP is developed (with IP as collateral). Debt financing will provide lower cost of capital, ultimately passing higher margins to the customers. The project will be highly remunerative due to low variable costs (low-cost hardware and current cloud infrastructure) and high revenue (large target market and first mover advantage).
Within six months, I can present the proof-of-concept to investors for seed funding. Thereafter, I will hire engineers and UI/UX developers to build interface in the next 12 months. Market analysis and outreach will be performed throughout the development phase. First delivery will be shipped in the next 36 months.
Initial product is B2B to cater hospitals and insurance companies. Once the B2B business is successful, the business can be scaled-up to cater to B2C consumers. Additional investments in infrastructure will help in reducing product’s cost to make it affordable for wider community outreach.