RN

Talking Pill Bottles Let Medications Speak for Themselves!

Reading the fine print on prescription drug bottles can be challenging for many people. But for those who are visually impaired, it’s an all-but-impossible, potentially dangerous task. Now, a relatively new pill bottle has become music to the ears of those with poor eyesight.

Rex, a Talking Prescription Bottle System, is a recordable device that allows medication dosage and instructions to be captured and replayed at the touch of a button. This talking prescription bottle is fully automated through text-to-speech technology, enabling pharmacists to electronically record the label information to the pill bottle in a natural sounding, computer-generated voice using the pharmacy’s current software and data. As the pharmacist sends the label information to the printer, the label information is recorded into the base of the bottle.

Health officials believe that this new technology will help those with failing eye sight, memory impairment and even language barriers to more effectively manage their daily medication schedule.

This invention was spurred along by some staggering statistics released by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2005. HHS found that the most commonly identified factor that affects access to prescription drug information is age; older patients are less informed.  In addition, a National Eye Institute (NEI) sponsored study estimated that blindness or low vision affects 3.3 million Americans age 40 and over, and is projected to reach 5.5 million by the year 2020.
Whether due to vision problems or other factors, the Department of Health and Human Services projected that, fewer than 30 percent of older adults take their medications properly.

This talking pill bottle features highest quality speech synthesis, and is available in English, Spanish and many other languages. It has an easy to use, one-push button that does not require usage training. It is also disposable to prevent cross contamination, and relatively inexpensive to provide to patients.

Rex and the accompanying technology allows the dosage instructions and other critical information to be read “out-loud” to patients in addition to providing the instructions on the standard label. This amazing invention utilizes software that converts pharmacist-typed prescription drug labels into a synthesized voice recording. Thus the recording in the bottle is precisely what is printed on the label, which eliminates spoken errors.

The manufacturer explains that the talking bottles are not only beneficial for people with vision impairments due to birth defects, diabetes or age, but also for people who are cognitively impaired, illiterate or those who cannot speak English. Personal recordings can be spoken in any language and the software can translate printed instructions into eight languages.

Home health nurses can use this technology to promote patient compliance with medication and improve patient safety ratings. Pharmacists can be assured that prescription directives will be accurate and errors of medication administration should decline. To find out more about Rex, visit the MedivoxRx Web site at: http://www.rxtalks.com/

© 2009. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.