Right now, I take about 8 different medicines to keep LAM & TSC in check as well as a few other conditions (like reflux & allergies). One of them is an immunosuppressant commonly used in kidney transplants. However, this is nothing compared to what I will be taking post-transplant. I thought this was a good teachable moment for people to understand one of the trade-offs that transplant recipients make & part of the reason why the after-care expenses can be a bit much…
This is what my post transplant med list looks like (it opens as a separate pdf. Sorry that my scanner reversed the pages, but the issue is still apparent). I was given this list at my evaluation while consulting with my transplant pharmacist. Some are clearly either/OR (one or the other) but still, it’s eye-opening right?
Even with a fitness band to set reminders, phone alerts, etc; I still sometimes have difficulties like anyone remembering when to take my meds at points, when I get really busy or off-schedule due to travel or other things. These tools help. But the other issue is what is a good solution to store all of these in an easily accessible spot at home without tying up my vanity or a full shelf in my bedroom with a massive collection of bottles & packages?
I don’t normally do this, but a Twitter contact, reached out to me & asked me to take a look at one of their Kickstarter projects prior to launching. Now, from time to time for a creative game, a friend’s album, or another worthy cause, I’ve donated to Kickstarters & IndieGogos when I’ve been able to do so. So I agreed to take look & send them feedback after reviewing once they reached out to me.
I was so excited to see this. It’s called Dr. Poket, & it looks like it could help me solve this dilemma. From the launch video in the kickstarter, you’ll clearly see why I am so excited. It’s medication alarms, dispensing, safety information – all in one device.
More information can also be found at their website.
But this project is exciting to me, because it’s all young founders who “get it”. They clearly see what the challenges are when it comes to managing several medicines to treat several chronic conditions, or the one big after-care issue that commonly occurs post-transplant.
They address it in a way that not only reaches my generation & younger, but could help caregivers of older generations or technically savvy older persons as well. I also feel that the safety information feature would be helpful to monitor side effects of new meds or head off interactions or problems for not only caregivers but people themselves. Also the uses for clinics or medical facilities.
While it might be pricey to me to get in on it now (as far as being on disability) & the level I’d fund at I would only have three modules (when I clearly would need more), it’s still an effective solution worth looking at.
I’m seriously thinking about it (will wait maybe until it’s clearly within inches of funding) because it might be worth the investment for the most critical of my medicines. At least 4 of the medicines on that list I’ll have to take the rest of my life.
The others I may be weaned off within about 3-6 months or up to a year.
Obviously too, for some meds that would need to be refrigerated (or inhaler/disk medicines or injectables) this wouldn’t help address the issue fully (unless there’s another design in development I’m not privy to); but it’s a good start!
I would find it useful not only for the dispensing & alerts but because it could also cue me for re-orders from the pharmacy within a safe timeframe so I wouldn’t ever run too low on medicine. (I tend to be good with this & utilize mail order for this reason, but still I also see the potential benefit for others who can’t keep track of this as well).
It would at least make a considerable dent in the issue. So I’m excited & I decided to jump behind it after the review invitation.
I told them about the potential help they could be providing the transplant community as well as others when I sent them my feedback. I was also glad to do this blog post to give a little extra attention to their launch (which also happens to be today) because I also feel the intent & mission behind this project is worth noting.
I hope they get funded. I’m keeping in touch with the project manager on this device through Facebook & Twitter because I really want to see if this does get fully funded & if it’s possible for me to be able to get in on it later once I know it will.
If their Kickstarter for some reason doesn’t succeed; I hope they would try another vehicle with flexible funding because it appears there’s a real clear need for something like this & I would definitely get behind that in lieu.
*This is by no means an endorsement or advertisement. But I enjoy highlighting worthwhile tools that leverage technology in interesting, easy-to-use, & practical ways. Especially when the developers have a clear vision & the foresight to actively solicit feedback from people who would utilize it. Not every company does that, but if they’re smart, they do. *
UPDATE: Dr. Poket opted to discontinue their Kickstarter campaign mid-way through since they had some investors come through that allowed them to develop this product & bring it to market more quickly. If you go to Getthepillbox.com you can send away for their kickstarter campaign code & order the product with the number of modules you’d like.