CoolComply: Using Wireless Tech to Monitor Medication Storage and Adherence

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on May 17, 2011
CoolComply: Using Wireless Tech to Monitor Medication Storage and Adherence data sheet 2080 Views

Many medications lose efficacy if stored outside their optimal temperature range, but in rural settings it can be difficult to maintain a steady cooling level. A new solar-powered refrigeration device called CoolComply is working to solve this problem by creating a more stable means of home medication storage, and improving patient adherence along the way.

Developed in partnership by the Massachusetts General Hospital, Innovations in International Health at MIT, and the Global Health Committee, CoolComply uses wireless technology to relay readings to local healthcare workers so they can remotely monitor patients being treated for Multiple Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). spoke with Stephan Boyer (a student of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT), Anna Young (the R&D Officer for International Laboratories of Innovations in International Health at MIT), and Aya Caldwell (Program Manager at CIMIT’s Global Health Initiative) about their work developing CoolComply.

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The project goals are two-fold:

  • To create a system that keeps medications cool and that monitors the medications' temperatures
  • To monitor medication adherence of patients with multiple drug resistant tuberculosis
Brief description of the project: 

CoolComply is a cooling device that monitors the temperature of MDR-TB medication and wirelessly transmits data about the temperature of the medication and patient adherence levels to community health workers through SMS. 

Target audience: 

The target audiences are community health workers in Ethiopia and patients with multiple drug resistant tuberculosis. 

Detailed Information
Length of Project (in months) : 
Under Development
Anticipated launch date: 
2011 Aug
What worked well? : 

The project is still under development, but so far the group has built and tested a cooling device that transmits SMS alerts.

What did not work? What were the challenges?: 

The group has worked around designing for limited connectivity and limited electricity access, as the device needs to function off the grid while maintaining steady temperatures and regular wireless updates for commuity health workers.