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50+: Live Better, Longer

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FDA OKs Computerized Pillbox

Box, Called EMMA, Dispenses Patients' Drugs at Home to Cut Medication Errors
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 22, 2007 -- The FDA has approved a new computerized pillbox called EMMA that dispenses patients' prescription drugs at home to help prevent medication errors.

EMMA (Electronic Medication Management Assistant) is roughly the size of a bread box. It may be particularly helpful for older patients or people with complex dosing schedules, notes the FDA.

EMMA stores prescription drugs, sounds an alert when patients are supposed to take their medications, and releases the drugs into a delivery tray when activated by the patient at the appropriate time.

The device, which plugs into a standard power outlet, is to be used under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.

Doctors, pharmacists, or other health care professionals can access EMMA online to tweak patients' dosing schedule or prescriptions, or to monitor patients' access to their medications.

EMMA is made by INRange Systems of Altoona, Pa.

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