Smart Medication Organizer; The Internet as a Social Artifact: How Widespread Internet Access May Hinder Developing Nations

Rajuladevi, Sai, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Powell, Harry, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Rogers, Hannah, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, University of Virginia

The Smart Medication Organizer (SMO) is a wirelessly programmable, internet-of-things device that assists in the consistent self-administration of pharmaceuticals by patients, in order to reduce nonadherence. To accomplish this goal, the SMO provides timed auditory and visual indications to signal to the user to take their medications. The device encompasses a screen, a speaker, a wall outlet power supply, a microcontroller, and six medication compartments, each with an LED. The electronics are located inside an aesthetically pleasing wooden box to hide the details from the user. The device connects to a user’s wireless local area network, where it can be reached from the user’s personal or mobile device through a web application. The web application allows the user to configure when they need to take which medications, which compartment each medication is in, and dosage information. This information is encrypted to protect the user’s data privacy and then sent to the device, where events are scheduled based on the information provided. When it is time for the user to take their medication, the speaker plays a sound to draw the user’s attention, the LEDs indicate in which compartment the medication to take is located, and the screen displays other necessary dosage information. The user can stop the sound and LEDs by pressing an okay button to confirm they have taken their medication, and the next medication event will be scheduled automatically. The device is a compact, easy-to-use, and affordable solution to unintentional nonadherence.

Advancements associated with Internet accessibility measures in developing nations have dismissed significant costs under the guise of economic growth. Moreover, there is limited empirical evidence about the positive development impact of internet technologies in relation to systemic issues in developing countries (Galperin & Viecens, 2017). In this thesis, an actor-network analysis and utilitarian ethics framework will be used to investigate the relationship between obtaining Internet access and economic prosperity. An actor-network analysis framework is chosen in order to draw linkages between social constructs in developing areas, and a utilitarian ethics framework is chosen in order to substantiate or contradict the claims made by the evidence provided. This thesis discusses issues surrounding the digital divide between Internet access in developed and developing regions of the world and evaluates the potential for increased Internet access to alleviate issues of poverty. Given the current rapid growth of Internet-based technologies worldwide, this thesis presents a sociotechnical analysis on the costs of increased Internet access in developing nations.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
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