You know you need to take your medication but darn it, sometimes you just plain forget. You are not alone. This happens to a lot of people especially when they have to take more than one pill, more than once a day.
Take heart, your solution might be as close as your mobile phone, and as simple as downloading an app.
On the iTunes store alone, there are nearly a hundred medication reminder apps. Many of them are free and have benefits that go beyond just reminding you to take a pill.
What are the Benefits of these Apps?
If you can receive a text message on your phone, then you can use one of these apps. They are generally easy to use.
They can be adapted to alert you in a way that works best for you. Most can be set up to vibrate, ring, send a text, or pop-up a visual notification when it is time to take your medicine. You can indicate that you already took your pill, that you want to be reminded again later, or to dismiss. The apps track all this so you can monitor your progress–and show your doctor how well you are doing!
Speaking of doctors…
Sometimes you have to see a doctor you don’t know, like a specialist or an emergency room physician. When this happens you can just show them your phone when they ask what medications you are taking. Having the right name and the exact dose of all your current meds will help you get the best possible treatment.
Many of these apps also have safety measures built in like drug interaction or allergy alerts. If you take medications prescribed by more than one doctor or filled at more than one pharmacy, these features can really help. The app can act as a central hub giving you that extra layer of protection.
Perhaps you are interested in these apps, not just for yourself, but for a loved one. Many apps allow multiple users so you can help manage medications for your whole family. Aides and caregivers can also use them to help their clients. Some apps even allow you to print out medication schedules.
Which Apps are Best?
Start asking around. You’ll be surprised how many people already use medication reminder apps. Most people in the U.S. use a smartphone (2015 Pew Research). And 66% of Americans say they are eager to use their phones to help manage their health (2015 online health survey). You probably have a friend, a pharmacist, or a doctor who would happily recommend one.
The American Pharmacists Association has a list of their highest-rated apps for medication adherence. These apps are all free and available for both iOS and Android devices. Using a five-point scale, they rated all the apps listed below at least a four.
Though most medication apps have similar features, some will fit your needs better than others. A few offer coupons and refill reminders, while others can be used to track things like cholesterol. The best way to find out which one is right for you is to try one out. Download a couple and see which one you like best–it is certainly worth a shot.
Photo Credit © Syda Productions via Dollar Photo Club.