Why a new pill container is designed to talk to your doctor
Meet ReX, a drug-dispensing device designed to help patients remember to take their pills. About the size of a coaster, ReX is part of a cloud-based tracking system that delivers real-time data to caregivers.
“We’re here for that niche, high-risk, high-value, dangerous drug—for very specific treatments that are going to have a big impact on the patient,” said Edan Razinovsky, director of business development at Israel-based DosentRx, the company behind ReX. “This device is our solution to patient nonadherence and noncompliance.”
Most people struggle to start and stick to new routines. Between 33 and 69 percent of medication-related hospital admissions are due to poor medication adherence, causing an estimated 125,000 deaths and costing as much as $300 billion each year, according to the National Institutes of Health.
DosentRx aims to decrease waste and noncompliance by tracking medication from the pharmacy and dispensing it directly into a patient’s mouth. “When it’s time to take the med, ReX will start beeping and buzzing,” Razinovsky said. “If you don’t answer, ReX will text your cell phone, email you and your physician and the person at home who’s helping you.”
After ReX’s prompt, the patient presses a button at the top of the device, lifts the bottom of the device to his or her mouth and then ingests the pill. ReX then asks questions customized to the patient’s treatment, like Did you take our pill with food or without food?
A Class I medical device registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ReX has two parts: a cassette, given to a patient by a hospital or specialty pharmacy after it has been filled with medication; and the device itself, which locks onto the cassette. Once locked, the patient only has access to the prescribed amount of medication at the prescribed time, which is helpful when monitoring the intake of potent drugs, such as opioids and oncolytics—expensive medications that target and kill cancer cells.
DosentRx, which completed the TMC Innovation Institute’s accelerator program,TMCx, has opened its United States headquarters in the Texas Medical Center. The company is launching paid pilot programs and shopping ReX to hospitals and specialty pharmacies.
“ReX empowers patients to manage their own treatment,” Razinovsky said.