Medicine Reminder and Vending Machine

Medicine Reminder and Vending Machine

A medicine vending machine to store and give doses via medicine bottles and alert patients at prescribed times.

  • 39 respects

Components and supplies

Ph a000067 iso (1) wzec989qrf
Arduino Mega 2560
Alternatively, Arduino Nano or Uno can be used.
Bourns pec11r 4215f s0024 image 75px
Rotary Encoder with Push-Button
This will be used to provide Dose Time input to the microcontroller.
Sg90 servo motor 180 degrees sg90 micro
SG90 Micro-servo motor
Servo motors will be used to implement rack mechanism to drop medicine boxes. And clear the medicine rack if a patient misses a dose, so as to avoid confusion when next dose drops.
DS3231 RTC Module
To keep track of time
MP3 player module and speaker
This will play audio tones stored in SD card. Alternatively, a buzzer can be used to keep cost low.
398 09
Adafruit RGB Backlight LCD - 16x2
To display upcoming medicine dose time.
09590 01
LED (generic)
IR sensor
To detect when a dose drops and is taken by patient to update information in SD card.
Micro SD card module and SD card
Used to store dost history of the patient

Necessary tools and machines

Apps and online services

About this project

There is no cure for CoViD-19 yet, although patients are given some medicines by nurses and doctors to ease the pain,increase immunity, and reduce symptoms. But this puts our Healthcare warriors at risk when they give the medicine to patients, thus I developed a machine that can take in the Medicine Doses of an Entire week, store them and supply them to the patient at the time set by the doctor once, at the start-up of the machine. This will ensure distancing from patients and nurses won't have to risk their lives to go and give medicine to the infected patient. Once the medicine is on the given rack from where the patient can take it, he/she is alerted via a speaker on the system to take the medicine. The data of when the medicine is taken is stored in an SD card for further reference by doctors to monitor the effect on symptoms by the given doze. This machine can also be used in houses where old patients forget to take medicines on time and need a caretaker to provide them each dose. For using it in households, there is one more feature added- Excercise and Food times of the patient can be stored and act as a reminder, and the machine can also act as an alarm clock and can store 3 alarms. Food and exercise times help patients since there are certain meds that need to be taken at proper intervals before or after food, thus having food on time is important.

Why use this?

Following lines are taken from an Economic Times post-

"The figure for health care workers infections has risen from 23,000 to we think more than 90,000, but that is still an underestimation because it is not (covering) every country in the world," Howard Catton, ICN's chief executive officer, told Reuters Television in its lakeside offices.

The 90,000 estimate is based on information collected on 30 countries from national nursing associations, government figures and media reports. The ICN represents 130 national associations and more than 20 million registered nurses. Catton, noting that 3.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, said: "If the average health worker infection rate, about 6 percent we think, is applied to that, the figure globally could be more than 200,000 health workers infections today.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which is coordinating the global response to the pandemic, says that its 194 member states are not providing comprehensive figures on health worker infections as they grapple with the unprecedented crisis.

The above lines are taken from ET. These are the numbers of total cases and total nurses infected as of 6 May 2020. This shows that around 6% of health workers are getting infected by the deadly disease that has no cure yet. But how?

The health workers have PPE still they are getting infected. This is because they give medicines and different drugs to patients to ease their pain and monitor the effects for drawing conclusions and further studies. This alone puts them at a huge risk by keeping them at close proximity to give them just the medicine.

Working of proposed system-

When the machine is first booted, the user is asked to set the dose times for all the doses of each day. If two racks are used, up to 28 Doses can be stored in a single refill. Each day, 4 doses can be delivered according to the time set. The LCD displays upcoming doses. The rotary encoder is used to set the time for each dose. Servo motors are used to deliver the medicine to rack and clear the rack if the patient misses the dose. The IR sensor is used to detect the time at which the dose is dropped and taken by the patient and the data is stored in SD card in.csv format. Once the dose is delivered, the speaker plays a tone (a custom audio clip which is dubbing of person reminding to take the dose, followed by a ringtone) to alert the patient to take the dose. LED also blinks repeatedly to provide visual output.

How to assemble-

For assembling this system and delivering it to large quarantine centers, a small medicine holding rack can be created as shown below. All the connections and hardware should be enclosed inside a small case and the rack with wires is placed outside. Any hard material can be used to make this, I used cardboard for prototype and acrylic for the finished product that is demonstrated in the video at the end of the explanation.

Medicine vending rack mechanism using Two Servos-

Two servos can be used to deliver a medicine dose at the set time. They should be connected next to each other on opposite sides with a small flap to block the medicine. This rack should be inclined a little bit to ensure the medicine falls correctly. The rack has a simple rectangular design open from above to add the filled medicine doses to it. This rack can be easily replicated from the images. The dimensions are 24 x 5.4 x 3 cm cube.

Medicine Dose Boxes-

These medicine dose boxes are commercially available and they are usually used to store Homeopathy medicine. Due to the small form factor and good storing capability, they are perfect for our project. 2-3 different medicines of a particular doze can be easily stored in these boxes. If a certain person requires mode medicines in a single dose, bigger versions of these bottles can be used to accommodate more meds.

SD Card data logging-

The data which contains when the patient has taken the dose (or missed) is stored inside an SD card, thus doctors can review it at a later stage to see how a certain medicine dose affected the patient's symptoms. The first column is of data, second is the day, the next column is of the dose time set by the nurse, and next to is the column which contains the time at which the patient takes the dose. If he/she misses the dose, it is also stored in an SD card.

Demonstration video-



This product can be easily replicated and placed in Covid-19 Quarantine centers next to patient beds to give them their medication on time. For the design of the product, only two racks with a small case for electronics can be made, keeping the cost low. These racks can be kept as shown in the small scale prototype shown above, or a product housing all the components can be made as shown in the demo video. Using this product will ensure safety to healthcare workers who provide medicines, by keeping them at distance from the infected person.

I intend to expand the scope of this project by adding Wi-Fi functionality and syncing it with an IoT Cloud to provide easy access to real-time medicine data of each patient in the hospital which can be monitored by a nurse at the reception through a computer.


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