A New Method to Prevent Unintentional Child Poisoning

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2018 Jul;2018:5142-5145. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2018.8513459.


Unintentional child poisoning represents an increasingly important health issue in the United States and worldwide, partially due to increased use of drugs and food supplements. Biometric authentication is complex for pill bottles, but we propose a new method of user identification using touch capacitance during bottle-opening attempts. A smart pill bottle could generate an immediate warning to deter a child from opening the bottle and send an alert to parents/guardians. In this paper, we present principle of operation and implementation of a prototype "safe bottle We present the results of pilot testing with 5 adults and 3 children using support vector machine (SVM) and neural network (NN). From 232 bottle-opening events, our optimized NN generated no false detections of children as adults and four false detections of adults as children. Preliminary results indicate that smart pill bottles can be used to reliably detect children trying to open pill bottles and reduce risk of child-poisoning events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Support Vector Machine
  • United States
  • Water Intoxication*