HAL, Meet EMMA, The Wave of the Drug Dispensing Future

Last week, FDA approved an automatic home medication device, the Web based Electronic Medication Management Assistant or EMMA, designed to prevent medication errors.  It's designed to be an "electronic nurse, " linked to pharmacist and health care provider, to monitor and manage medication.  Thinking about the number of medications my mother now has to take, I thought this was a particularly brilliant invention.  Then I remembered how much mom loves computers, the Internet, machines in general and touch screens in particular. (My mother is a brilliant woman, but she's the only person in the world who can make me feel smug about my IT skills. We spent hours getting her aol account, still untouched, going two years ago. I'll bet that there are many more target EMMA users just like her.) John Mack was right to criticize the high cost ($200 per month) and general unwieldiness of the system. (For more, read here).  And, of course, what happens when something goes wrong with the device? But this invention will likely be followed by smaller and more streamlined versions---just in time for tail-end Boomers and Generation X'ers  (only perhaps, by then, we'll have moved beyond tablets and capsules, to error-proof new dosage forms and combined drug devices). FDA had issued a press release, but here is an update on how Emma works from Medical News Today.
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  • <p>I thank the manufacturers of generic drugs. Without them, I could not see myself spending my worthwhile penny to medicines that are expensive. The generic drugs leveled the playing field. - <a href="http://presentationsolutions.org/2011/10/25/advice-from-dr-naveed-fazlani">Dr. Naveed Fazlani</a> </p>

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