First Advisor

James McNames

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering




Electrical engineering, Parkinson's disease -- Drug use, Medical instruments and apparatus -- Automation, Medical instruments and apparatus --Design and construction, Medication errors -- Prevention



Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 91 p.) : ill. (chiefly col.)


Parkinson' Disease (PD) is a motor disorder characterized by rigidity, tremor, and hypokinesia with secondary manifestations like defective posture and gait, mask like face and dementia. Over the years it may lead to inability to move, breath and ultimately patient may succumb to chest infection and embolism. Prevalence studies show that more than six million people around the world suffer from PD. At present, there is no cure for PD but there are effective treatments that can slow the progression of the disease and regulate its affects. PD results from a deficiency of dopamine so most drugs that produce a salutary effect in PD either potentiate dopamine or work as dopamine agonists. Hence, to keep the symptoms of PD to a minimum it is very important that the medications be consumed regularly, so that the dopamine level is maintained in the body of the subject. Electronic pillbox logger is a device that has been designed to ensure this very much required medication adherence in PD subjects, which can also be used to measure the response to oral medication. This work describes the design and implementation of an electronic pillbox logger for use by people suffering from Parkinson's disease (PD). The pillbox logger is designed to track medication adherence and prompt the user to take medication on time. It is pocket-sized, portable, and compartmented. It has a variety of alarm systems to remind the user to take the correct dose of their medication at the correct time. Most importantly, it keeps an electronic log of the time of dosage consumption by detecting the presence/absence of pills in the pillbox. This overcomes major limitations of other pillboxes with a logging function that are often too large to carry, contain a single compartment, or only record the time the container was opened rather than the presence or absence of pills. The proposed pillbox logger complements a wearable device under development for people with Parkinson's disease that continuously monitors impaired movement. The combination of the pillbox logger with the wearable sensor will permit clinicians to determine the response to oral therapies, which can be used to optimize therapy. People with PD consume similar pills throughout the day hence the pillbox logger has been designed to detect the presence/absence of pills in general in the pillbox rather than which specific pills are absent or present in the pillbox logger. This feature of the current design that the device records knowledge about pills in general in the pillbox logger and not about any specific pills is a major reason why the current design is specific to PD subjects only. However, though the current design of the pillbox logger is designed for people with Parkinson's Disease, the pillbox is suitable for other maladies in which the timing of the medication is critical. The described pillbox logger was built and the design was validated after running a number of tests. The battery powered pillbox logger is able to accurately store the information about the actual presence/absence of pills in each compartment of the pillbox. It is capable of sending out reminder alarms at the right time of the day and can be connected to a host computer using a USB cable to read the stored information from it. The proper functional working of the pillbox logger after thorough testing proves that the design of pillbox logger was successful.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Persistent Identifier