Pupils taking medication at school: an intelligent “pillbox” so they don't forget!

In the era of the smart phone and all these connected objects that make our daily lives easier, our collaborator Marc-André Girard shares one of his recent findings helping to manage students' medication intake when they are at school. school.

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ATTENTION! The English translation is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)

As a principal, for a while now, I have been racking my brains for our elementary school students who have health problems and who have to take medication at regular times, which fall during the school day.

In collaboration with parents, teachers and sometimes even with students, we have put in place various means to ensure that they can take them at the right time: alarms on the watch, reminders on the iPad, texting of parents in class, etc.

For the teacher, this situation is complex since he must already deal with the urgency and the madness of everyday life. Managing each other's pill jars can be a stressful headache. What if the teacher forgot or gave the wrong medicine to the wrong person?

These are legitimate fears, neglecting the student's medication is not an option of course. 

In the era of the smart phone and all these connected objects that make our daily lives easier, I was happy to find a technological solution to this problem. Who would have thought that someone could have invented a smart pill organizer? This is not an infomercial: I wanted to share this find with you!

This is EllieGrid, a little pill box that doesn't have anything from your grandmother's pill box. It's a go-anywhere accessory that looks more like a jewelry box. Already, we are avoiding the stigma of the drugged student, with all that that can imply at school. I like the idea of diverting the original function of a technological tool to support teachers in the management of requests for medical follow-up. We have more and more students with special conditions requiring medication to be taken during school hours (with the parents' signature, of course): hyperactive students, cases of diabetes or cystic fibrosis, painkillers (menstrual cramps, for example). ), heart failure, etc. 

There are two ways to use EllieGrid to make sure students are taking their medication at the scheduled times. Depending on how many tablets to take, the parent can schedule two things:

  • an audible alarm in a chosen interval;
  • a light identifying the compartment in which the student should draw and the quantity of tablets to take.

When the lid is opened within the preprogrammed interval, EllieGrid recognizes that the medication has been taken. This turns off the light and, if necessary, avoids the audible alarm.

Note that EllieGrid must come home to be filled by parents when needed. It can be recharged and reprogrammed as needed. The device is supplied with a carrying bag, but can very well be slipped directly into the school bag. The cover, when closed, is held in place by magnets.

EllieGrid can also be helpful when several students in the class need to take medication at specific times.

In either case, it is important to have the written permission of a parent for the medication to be given by an educational professional, which is part of a process for communicating health problems. target student health. 

The pill organizer works in conjunction with the application which is free and available for both Apple and Google. Unfortunately, the app is only available in English. 

Have you ever used it? Or have you found other solutions for this kind of situation?

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About the Author

Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard holds a bachelor's degree in social studies education (1999), a master's degree in history education (2003), a master's degree in education management (2013) and a doctorate in education (2022). He specializes in school-based change management and educational leadership. He is also interested in the 21st century competencies to be developed in education. He is a principal in a public high school and gives conferences on educational leadership, pedagogical approaches, change in schools and the professionalization of teaching. He has participated in educational expeditions in France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Morocco. In September 2014, he published the book "Le changement en milieu scolaire québécois" with Éditions Reynald Goulet and, in 2019, he published a trilogy on the 21st century school with the same publisher. He is a frequent contributor to L'École branchée on educational issues. He is very involved in everything that surrounds the professional development of teachers and principals as well as the integration of ICT in education. In March 2016, he received a CHAPO award from AQUOPS for his overall involvement. He is a recipient of the Régent-Fortin 2022 scholarship awarded by ADERAE for the significant contribution of his doctoral studies to the development of practice and knowledge in educational administration.

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