Is it time for your pill? Pharmino will remind you

From the “Dalla Chiesa” High School, in Sesto Calende, comes a smart dispenser for medicines, which rings and sends messages to remind us to take them

pharmino studenti della chiesa

The Dalla Chiesa High School, in Sesto Calende, has applied technology to produce a useful medical device, “Pharmino”, a smart dispenser for pills, which rings and sends messages to remind us to take them.

The project, which was produced by the year 4 students in the two technology classes, has become all the more valuable during these delicate times, when the elderly and people with chronic diseases are forced to stay at home, maybe far from their families, because of the coronavirus.

But Pharmino has been created for everyone. As the teachers hope, this practical, hi-tech product could leave the premises of the school and go into the homes of anyone who needs it. Thanks to its compatibility with a special app, a number of times and alarms can be set, using a mobile phone, to suit needs, and can be deactivated at any time. If the alarm is not heard, Pharmino will send a message to the users selected by the app, to remind them to take their pills.

The project has not gone unnoticed by the Cariplo Foundation and by the Milan Polytechnic Foundation, who have decided to award the students at the Dalla Chiesa High School the second prize of €5000 in the “SI Fabbrica” Competition, in the IoT (Internet of Things) category. The competition entailed creating innovative prototypes, with the aim of supporting the improvement of the quality of technical education throughout Lombardy and in north-east Piedmont.

More than 40 prototypes were submitted to the competition, and after the analysis and evaluation by a committee, and on the advice of a team of experts, Pharmino passed the initial selection phase to become one of the Top Ten in the IoT category, because “all of the parts had been produced entirely by the students and teachers” – from the electronic and computer design, to the 3D printing of the whole prototype, to the creation of posters and videos.

In the project, the students were led by their teachers Gianni Candiani, who was the team leader of the working group, Maria Discipio, who took care of the technical-organisational side, and Giuseppe Licitra for communication. In the final stage, a delegation of students made up of Davide Fossi, Luca Dessi, Gabriele Rossi and Leonardo Guenzi went to the Polytechnic of Milan to present the dispenser to a committee of company experts and university lecturers, who greatly appreciated the work, from a technical point of view, and above all, for its innovation and engineering.

“We’re very satisfied that we’ve created a device that is socially useful, that will improve the lives of the elderly and of people with disabilities or chronic diseases, helping them to take their medicines every day,” Ms Discipio and Mr Candiani explained. “The device’s wireless connection makes it possible, using an APP, to receive information on your smartphone or tablet, about when to take your medicines, or if you forget, giving support to family members, carers and healthcare workers.”

“For our, not so large, Technology High School, this gives us a reason to feel very proud,” said a very satisfied Headmistress of Dalla Chiesa School, Elisabetta Rossi, “considering also the high level, importance and large number of projects presented by the other technology high schools taking part, which can be seen in the list of winning projects. This result supports the second place obtained in the provincial competition of the National Plan for Digital Education. Our pupils’ work is a real success.”

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