What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia is the medical term for the symptom of difficulty in swallowing. It is not a single disease, but a symptom of an underlying medical problem.
How many people suffer from dysphagia?
Estimating the number of people with dysphagia is difficult since it is not a single disease but a symptom of an underlying medical problem. Any estimation of the incidence of dysphagia is highly influenced by the definition of dysphagia. As there is no standardised definition for it, an estimation of the incidence will vary from publication to publication. It is probable, however, that dysphagia is under diagnosed in many patients. Studies suggest that up to 75 percent of nursing home residents experience some degree of dysphagia, and that as many as half of all Americans over 60 will experience dysphagia at some point.
What inspired the development of myLiquitab?
My daughter, who is now over 30 years of age, has never been able to swallow tablets. The swallowing of tablets was often worse than the illness she contracted. Over a number of years, this has not changed.
Also, a number of years ago a very close family member had to be admitted to an aged care facility as her physical status had deteriorated and she was unable to be care for at home by her devoted husband. I remember visiting this family friend who was articulate, well spoken. She had become a resident of a nursing home some few weeks earlier, and had in most part come to terms with ‘institutional’ care. The most challenging thing being that she had great difficulty with was coming to terms with having to swallow 6 tablets 4 times per day. She dreaded the times when she could hear the medication trolley advancing towards her. She began to become increasingly anxious, which of course worsened the situation. The nursing staff eventually had to resort to crushing her medication and mixing it with various sweeteners such as jam, juice, etc. to mask the taste of her medication. Unfortunately even with the added sweeteners it tasted like grit and still contained crunchy bits of foul tasting medication. It was far worse than trying to swallow the tablets.
There had to be way to deal with these situations, which led me to establish myLiquitab.
I told our family friend about myLiquitab, but she unfortunately passed away before we were able to commercialise myLiquitab, through which I would have been able to improve her life.
We are now able to bring the myLiquitab technology to the world, to improve the lives of people experiencing difficulties swallowing pills and tablets.
- Keith Dobson, Founder of myLiquitab
What liquid does myLiquitab use to dissolve pills and tablets?
Can I liquefy more than one pill or tablet at a time?
Yes, as long as they are standard size pills or tablets. If the pills or tablets are very large (known as horse pills), or someone attempts 20 standard size at a time, the unit may need to be run for an additional cycle. The unit uses a fixed amount of energy through the liquefaction process and more energy may be needed if more tablets or pills are introduced.
We recommend caution when liquefying multiple pills or tablets and checking that they have been liquefied before consuming.
Is the efficacy of pills and tablets affected by being liquefied?
The efficacy of the tablets will not be affected, other than for enteric coated, sustained release and slow release tablets, which should not be liquefied in a myLiquiab unit.
Significant testing done on over 300 different tablets showed there is absolutely no change in the efficacy of any medication.
Does the myLiquitab device cater for slow release medications?
Enteric coated, sustained release and slow release tablets represents 0.25% of the market, and should not be liquefied in a myLiquitab unit.
Today, one can purchase the same medication in a standard form that is suitable for myLiquitab.
Why is flavouring needed?
Pills and tablets, which have been crushed or dissolved, usually have an unpalatable taste, many to the point where people physically ‘gag’ as their body rejects swallowing the crushed/dissolved tablet or pill.
myLiquitab’s flavouring system masks the unpalatable flavour.
Can I use a sweetener instead of myLiquitab Flavourings?
It is not recommended that sweeteners be used in place of myLiquitab flavourings.
Sweeteners tend to enhance the bitterness of many liquefied pills and tablets.
myLiquitab flavourings are not sweeteners and were purpose designed to mask the taste of most liquefied pills and tablets.
What is the size of myLiquitab Flavourings?
myLiquitab Flavourings are available in 600g packets.
How long will a packet of myLiquitab Flavouring last?
On average, 150 serves, or 5 to 6 weeks for someone consuming 4 serves per day.
What flavours are available?
Peppermint and mixed berries. Additional flavouring are being developed and may be introduced.
How does myLiquitab manage the bitter taste of crushed/dissolved pills and tablets?
myLiquitab uses a purposed designed and developed flavouring tablet to mask the bitter, usually unpalatable taste of crushed or dissolved pills and tablets.
How much flavouring is needed for each myLiquitab serving?
Generally 4 grams, or 1 teaspoon, unless a pill or tablet has a particularly strong taste.
Where can I buy flavourings?
myLiquitab flavourings will be available for purchase from myLiquitab Consultants, the myLiquitab website and through resellers.
Can I use my own beaker/cup in a myLiquitab unit?
myLiquitab beakers have been designed to work in myLiquitab units and incorporate a number of features which aides in dissolving pills and tablets. Non myLiquitab beakers, which do not incorporate the features needed for the myLiquitab unit to function correctly, will generally result in pills and tablets not being readily liquefied.
What cleaning and maintenance is required on a myLiquitab unit?
- It is recommended that the stirring paddle (on the underside of the lid on the myLiquitab Homecare Unit) be cleaned after each use. Spare paddles are included in the myLiquitab consumables pack.
- It is recommended that the myLiquitab Beaker is washed after each use and that it is not used more than three times.
Where and how can we purchase myLiquitab beakers and paddles?
myLiquitab beakers and paddles will be available for purchase from myLiquitab Consultants, the myLiquitab website and through resellers.
How long will the unit last for?
Under normal use, the unit should have a life which is similar to any household appliance.
Can the Home Care Unit be used for the whole family?
Yes, up to 20 serves per day.
Can I buy a home care unit for my family member who resides in a nursing home?
Yes. The home care unit is designed to be used up to 20 times each day. You can purchase one to be used your family member in a nursing home.
A more robust myLiquitab unit is being developed for commercial use in aged care centres.
How do nursing homes currently deal with residents who have difficulty swallowing?
Dependent on the level of care, i.e. in low care 30%, high care 70%, medication in nursing homes is manually crushed.
Care givers in nursing homes spends an amazing amount of time breaking down tablets into gritty mixture mixed with jam(medications are very bitter and most food stuffs DO NOT MASK the taste of the medication). Most patients “spit it out”. The most expensive person in the nursing home will “squash” tablets- RN Division 1 nurse. Nurses are spending 6 hours of an 8 hour shift squashing tablets. This results in poor staff morale, poor patients outcomes, and significantly higher costs for the nursing home.
The founder of myLiquitab built the myLiquitab unit as a result of having owned and operated nursing homes, where one of the issues was the time spent crushing tablets.
What are the advantages of using a myLiquitab unit in a nursing home?
- Saves up to 70-80% of the time spent by nurses dispensing medication.
- Provides an easier way for dysphagia suffers to take their medication.
- Assists with medication compliance.
- Improves job satisfaction for nursing staff.
- Stops all occupational health and safety issues i.e. repetitive strain injuries from crushing medication and reduces exposure to particles of crushes medication.
- Reduces cross fertilisation of one patient’s medication with another patient’s medication.
Can the thickness of the finished liquid be varied?
myLiquitab is not involved in thickening, however, conventional thickening agents can be introduced to the liquefied solution.
Thickening is for the advanced stages of dysphagia, and once added by a carer or a dietician.
Can I take the unit outside?
Yes, the myLiquitab unit can be plugged into any electricity source in the world, but please note that a transformer may be required as units are suitable for either 220 to 240v or 110v, not both Please check the model you have before using the unit with an electrical supply with different voltage.
Where can I purchase the unit?
myLiquitab units, flavour tablets and spare parts will be available for purchase from myLiquitab Consultants, the myLiquitab website and through resellers
Where are myLiquitab units made?
myLiquitab units are manufactured in Southern China from technology developed in Australia over a period of 10 years.
Where is myLiquitab Flavouring manufactured?
myLiquitab flavourings are manufactured and packaged in Australia.