“Smart” pill box wins four prizes at Hackathon

Kalyan Palepu II and Robert Cunningham I participated in the Umass Hackathon over the first weekend in November, and walked away with four prizes: Best Website, Best Use of Amazon Lex, Best Home-Automated Project, and Most Creative Healthcare-Related Project. 


Their winning project was a “smart” pill box and a corresponding website. As Robert explains it, many people have elderly relatives who are independent, but also need to take medication—and making sure that they remember to take the medication is often a source of friction. The smart pill box indicates with lights which pills should be taken and when, and it reports to the website if they’ve been taken and how many are left. Caretakers can keep track by checking the website. There’s also voice integration, so non-computer-savvy elderly can just ask it when they need refills and when they’re next due to take their medicine.

Paired with two college students, Kalyan and Robert were part of the top prize-winning team. Of the 200+ teams, only 14 won any prizes at all.