How the Pivotell Automatic Pill Dispenser Mk3-11 Works

Pivotell® Automatic Pill Dispensers have been widely used throughout the UK since 2002. The Mark 3 dispenser, with its enhanced functionality and proven reliability, is the preferred choice among professional care agencies within the NHS and Local Authority Social Services.

It can be easily filled and programmed by the user, relative, carer or pharmacist to dispense pills up to 28 times a day

Open PivoTell Automatic Pill Dispenser Mk 3

The enhanced features include:

  • Up to 28 alarm times - important for those taking medication more than four times daily.
  • A 29 section tray - important if the dispenser is being refilled away from the user's home.
  • For those with many pills or large pills to take at the same time, two compartments can be programmed to alarm at the same time.
  • Automatic adjustment for daylight saving (British Summer Time / Greenwich Mean Time).
  • Pharmacy label carrier and retaining case.
  • Internal interface allowing connection to Telecare Call Centres.
  • One year battery life.
  • Battery level meter - important to accurately check when batteries need replacement.
  • Secure battery case cover to deter tampering (can be secured with the screw provided).
  • The opportunity for the use of the Pivotell® Disposable Tray System for easier filling by Pharmacists where no relative or carer is available (see Pharmacy Filling Pivotell Dispensers).
  • A Pivotell® Tipper is available for those with limited strength or radial wrist dexterity which allows easy access to medication (see tipper).



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How the Pivotell® Works

Open a pdf copy of the PivoTell model 3/11 instructions (size 558kb).

Dispenser Open

Dispenser shown unlocked and with lid open

Figure 1: The Pivotell® Automatic Pill Dispenser. It can be filled by the user, carer or relative. It is easily programmed and will dispense pills up to 28 times a day.

Pivotell Mk3 Tipped

Dispenser shown after rotation and medication tipped into hand.

Figure 2: At the pre-programmed times, the internal pill cassette rotates, the alarm signal is heard, the light flashes and the correct dosage comes into view through the opening in the lid. The alarm can be set to continue* to ring for up to 60 minutes.

Dispensing pills

Dispenser shown in a tipper and the pills being dispensed into a bowl.

Figure 3: To stop the alarm ringing and dispense the pills, the user merely tilts the Pivotell® dispenser and the pills fall into the hand or a suitable container. A Pivotell® tipper is available for those with insufficient strength or limited dexterity to lift and dispense their medication.

Spare discs and cassette

Spare Cassette with lid, discs and prescription booklet

Figure 4: Spare internal cassettes can be pre-filled to replace the empty tray when necessary (protective cover provided).

The Pivotell® Automatic Pill Dispenser holds a tray which contains 29 compartments (Fig 1). At pre-programmed times, up to 28 times daily, the tray rotates within the dispenser and the next compartment containing pills becomes visible through an aperture in the lid and the pre programmed alarm signal sounds (Fig 2 Click here to hear the alarm. (Sample 1 of 4 alarm sounds)

*The alarm can be set to sound for up to 1 hour or until the dispenser is tilted. The appropriate medication is delivered by tilting the dispenser so that the pills fall into the hand or suitable container. The alarm signal will then stop. (Fig 3)

The refill frequency will depend upon the number of daily medications (up to 28) for example:-
Once a day medication refill every 28 days
Twice a day medication refill every 14 days
Three times a day medication refill every 9 days
Four times a day medication refill every 7 days
Seven times a day medication refill every 4 days.
Etc etc.

Loading the Pivotell® Dispenser
The dispenser is supplied with clearly printed discs. The discs identify the day of the week, and the appropriate number of doses per day (between 1 and 4). Blank discs are supplied which should be manually completed for those on five or more doses daily.

The appropriate disc for the pill regime is then placed on the tray prior to filling it, and used as a guide as to where to place the pills.

N.B. Certain medication should not be placed in medication dispensing systems. If in doubt check with a pharmacist.

12/24 Hour Time
The clock can be set to either 12 or 24 hour display.
The clock is self adjusting for British Summer Time and Greenwich Mean Time.

An alarm signal (different to the pre set alarm sound) is activated if any fault should arise which effects the rotation of the dispenser

The Pivotell dispenser has an in built test function which should be activated periodically.

Alarm Signal
Four different alarm signals are possible.

The dispenser includes an integrated interface to link with systems provided by assistive technology companies linking with call centres.

The Pivotell® dispenser is equipped with a lock to ensure that only the medication which is due is accessible to the user.

The batteries should be changed when the low charge indicator is displayed. At normal usage the batteries last for at least 12 months. Four alkaline AA batteries should be used. All pre set functions (alarm times,alarm sound etc) remain the same after the batteries are changed. It is only the real time clock which needs correcting if the batteries are left out or are out of charge.

emC emission and immunity, FDA
The Pivotell® dispenser fulfils all necessary requirements.


Size Diameter 190mm or 7.5 ins Height 56mm or 2.5ins.

Weight with batteries 480 gms (approx. 1 lb)

This is the basket Message

This is the basket Message