US-based Intent Solutions has collaborated with AT&T to streamline data transmission for its tad medication dispensing system by integrating it with the latter’s LTE-M cellular technology.

The move is a part of Intent’s efforts to add enhanced features to the handheld device tad, which is filled with pills, locked and programmed by an authorised individual.

Upon dispensing a pill via fingerprint access, the solution transmits usage data to a data portal for visualisation by healthcare providers.

The new tad cellular version will allow direct streaming of near real-time prescription adherence data from its secure pill dispenser to users’ portal for viewing and management.

The current version of tad, however, streams data to the portal upon setting up Bluetooth pairing between the dispenser and a smartphone or tablet.

In addition to enabling devices to be connected “out of the box” while eliminating the need for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, AT&T’s LTE-M wide-area cellular network  is designed for the Internet of Things that operates in licensed spectrum with carrier-grade security.

The new cellular version of tad to be launched in 2020

Scheduled for launch in 2020, the new cellular version of tab will feature with an internal antenna and cellular module in place of the Bluetooth components in the current version.

Intent CEO Sam Zamarripa said: “We welcome this new relationship with AT&T and the ability to streamline the tad system with the company’s LTE-M cellular technology.

“By eliminating the need to pair the tad dispenser with a smartphone or tablet, AT&T LTE-M technology will make it easier for caregivers to track prescription adherence more closely throughout each day. In so doing, it will help ensure we fulfill our mission of dispensing the right dose at the right time to the right person.”

The tad medication dispensing system is registered with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Class 1 medical device.

AT&T’s Advanced Mobility and Enterprise Solutions group senior vice-president Chris Penrose said: “Our LTE-M technology is helping to change lives and transform business, and we’re proud to make it part of Intent Solutions’ dispensing system.

“Healthcare solutions are advancing rapidly because of IoT connectivity. We look forward to being part of the next generation of pill security and technology that delivers new insight into how individuals take prescription medications.”

Earlier this year, AT&T and VITAS Healthcare have launched a study that aims to combine 5G with virtual reality and augmented reality (VR and AR), in a bid to help reduce chronic pain and anxiety for certain hospice patients.