A pioneering trial in hospitals in Oxfordshire is using cutting edge technology to help older people manage their medicines at home and leave hospital earlier.

It is hoped it will help alleviate some of the recent pressures on the health and social care system.

The 16-month project is the first of its kind and could be scaled up to support patients right across the UK. 

Suitable patients identified for the trial may include people taking multiple medicines where there is a higher chance of missing doses or errors with timings.

This may lead to increased likelihood of falls, resulting in hospital re-admissions or the need to move into a care home.

Each patient will have an initial face-to-face appointment as they are discharged to create a personalised schedule for when they should take their medicines.

Each patient will then be given a ‘smart’ medicine storage box, which uses flashing lights and buzzes when it’s time to take a dose.

It can even send texts to the patient's phone or a family member if doses are repeatedly missed.

A weekly report, accessible by carers, or nominated family members, will then outline their medication routine and flag any concerns.

In the future, the software will also be able to flag potential side-effects such as increased risk of falling due to a specific combination of medicines. 

The project is backed by a £1million Innovate UK Grant and led by digital medicines experts CONNECT Care and Oxfordshire County Council’s iHUB.

Councillor Tim Bearder, cabinet member for Adult Social Care, said: "This pioneering initiative will give patients greater confidence to get better in their own homes, freeing up space in hospitals for those who need it most, and allowing our residents to recover where they feel most comfortable.”

Following an initial research and design phase launched in May 2022, the initiative is being rolled out to up to 50 adult social care patients from today (23/1).

Issa Dasu Patel, co-founder and CEO of CONNECT Care, which is delivering the technology and software, said: “We are so excited to launch this first of its kind project to support older people living independently and help them take their medicines confidently and safely.

“We want to ensure those taking multiple medicines receive the same level of information on potential side-effects and risks as they would from an in-person consultation with their pharmacist.

"By providing this support, the healthy ageing initiative aims to empower older people to take charge of their own care, giving them a sense of dignity and active involvement in their treatment."



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