Abstract: A portable medication dispenser aids and monitors regimen-conforming use of medications provided in standard as-marketed blister packages. A standard blister package and a separate, disposable sensor sheet are simply and easily loaded into a compact housing containing supervisory electronics, visual indicators, and an audible alarm. The sensor sheet consists of electrical or optical sensing regions corresponding to each individual compartment of the blister package. A compliant, electrically conductive or optical connector in the dispenser housing allows periodic scanning of the sensor sheet circuitry by the control circuitry in the dispenser housing without adding connector components to the low cost, disposable sensor sheet. When a medication is ejected through the backing layer of the standard blister package, an electrical or optical parameter associated with a corresponding region of the sensor sheet is altered, thereby permitting the control circuitry to monitor the dispensing event.
Abstract: The invention provides a portable and positionally insensitive dispensing device and system for dispensing several types of articles, packaged on strips and loaded into separate cartridges, from a single device. Dispensing is controlled from more than one cartridge by means of special clutch mechanisms acting on a common drive shaft. The dispensing device has a control system that is capable of coordinating the dispensing operations of all the cartridge stations. A host computer system permits efficient definition of dispensing schedules and control options for each cartridge station, loads those dispensing parameters into the dispensing device control system, unloads dispensing data from the dispensing device at the end of a dispensing period, and analyzes the degree of compliance of the actual dispensing operations to the dispensing schedule.