INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 21, 2012, 05:55 PM

New technology helping pill intake management

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - Some people in Fergus Falls are signing up to be part of a study that focuses on new technology that manages medication and keeps seniors in their homes.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - Some people in Fergus Falls are signing up to be part of a study that focuses on new technology that manages medication and keeps seniors in their homes.

The good news is there are still openings for people in the project.

86 year old Martha Hitzeman of Fergus Falls loves that she can still stay in her own apartment. And one reason is this new piece of technology that sits on her kitchen table.

Margaret Dahl of Pioneer Care in Fergus Falls is one of the collaborative partners helping with a unique study in Minnesota that enrolls seniors and others in this project. At no charge, people get the Med Smart Unit. It not only holds all the pills someone needs for several days, but using an alarm, it lets them know when it is time to take them.

Margaret Dahl, RNPioneer Link-Fergus Falls: “We are trying to determine whether this keeps people out of the nursing home, or hospital, or clinic for unplanned visits.”

For people like Martha, it is a matter of health and safety. There were days she was forgetting to take her meds.

Martha Hitzeman: “I might not have known I missed those days if I didn't have my daughter to look after me.”

Studies show that patients with chronic disease fail to take their meds on a timely basis. It often means more hospitalizations or nursing home stays.

Dahl: “If they take their medicines right for disease management, we can impact those things with this machine and it looks good.”

And there are some good checks and balances with this unit. When the alarm sounds the client can't just shut it off, it has to be tipped over and the pills dispensed.

One woman told us it is the first time in 30 years she has been compliant with her medication.

For Martha, it is peace of mind. That little song that allows her to keep living independently.

People can still sign up. The MedSmart device is free, during the experiment time.

To enroll, call Pioneer Link at 218-998-2628 or go to WDAY.com and the easy link tab, and Med-Smart.

Anyone in West Central Minnesota, including Moorhead, is eligible.

Tags: