Smartphone and Tablet Apps
There are many apps for smartphones and tablets that can help you stay on track with medications. For detailed information on several popular apps, visit our smartphone app page here.
Hero is digital pill dispenser that has a 90 day capacity, with up to 10 different medications. Hero operates on a membership model, with a monthly fee ($30) and a one-time initiation fee – you do not buy the unit. In addition to the pill dispenser, there is an App and 24/7 support. Patients are notified when it’s time to take a pill, and the notification can also be used for non-pill medications (e.g. injections and inhalers). Caregivers can use the App to see reports on adherence. And caregivers are notified if the patient misses a dose, takes it late, or if there are device issues, such as disconnection.
MedaCube is a digital pill dispenser that uses WiFi. The unit has a 90 day capacity and can hold up to 16 different medications, with up to 20 customizable daily scheduling times. When it’s time to take a medication, the machine issues a prompt – the patient then uses the touch screen to open the drawer of pills for that time. Users can also get medications as needed, if they miss a dose, or if they need their medications early. Patients can also use the reminder system for non-pill medications, such as injections and inhalers. Caregivers can receive test, email or voice notifications if the patient misses a dose, takes his/her pills late, if there is a power outage, and when refills are needed. Lastly, caregivers can get reports on medication use, including adherence and inventory notices. The unit is expensive, but there are no recurring fees when connected to WiFi.
MedMinder is a digital pill dispenser with its own built-in cellular connection. No internet or phone service is needed. Fill the dispenser weekly with the pills needed for each day (there are slots for morning, noon, evening and bedtime for each day of the week). When it is time to take a pill, the appropriate pill compartment flashes, showing the patient which pills to take. If the pill compartment is not removed within an assigned time frame, the patient can get an auditory prompt. The system can also be programmed to call, text or email the patient and/or the caregiver if the pill compartment is not removed. A family caregiver can access the account online to see if the medication compartments are being removed at the appropriate time. There is also an option to have a locked pill dispenser allowing the patient access to only the right compartment of pills at the predetermined time. There is a monthly fee for this service.
Philips Medication Dispensing Service
The Philips Automated Medication Dispensing Service consists of an automatic pill dispenser connected via a home phone line. The dispenser can accommodate up to 60 medication cups, for up to 6 doses/day, for 1-40 days worth of medication. When it is time to take medications, the dispenser provides an audio reminder, the patient presses a button and the correct pills are dispensed. If the patient does not press the button within a predetermined time frame, the call center contacts a family member. The dispenser is locked, only dispensing each medication at the predetermined time. There is a monthly fee for this service.
Pillbox by Tricella
The Tricella pillbox sends a reminder to a patient’s phone, through their app, when it’s time for a patient to take their pills. Additionally, each individual pill container has a sensor so patients and their families can be alerted when medications are not taken within the allowable predetermined time frame. If you take pills more than once/day, you can connect multiple pillboxes to one account. There is no monthly fee – you only pay for the pillbox(es) you purchase. Clearly the pillbox does not work for non-pill medications such as liquids, injections, etc.
This online pharmacy packages your prescription medications into single serve packets of your pills for predetermined times of day. All pills taken at one particular time of day are contained in one packet, printed with the date, time to take the enclosed pills and a list of the pills contained. This makes it very easy to remember to take all the correct pills each predetermined time of the day. It is very helpful if you take a portion of your pills away from home. Note that non-pill medications (liquids, injections, etc.) cannot be included. Setting up a reminder notification, on your phone or other device, would be helpful.
Smart Pillbox by Tinylogics
This pillbox, in combination with their app, reminds users when it’s time to take a medication. The app can notify family members if a patient has not taken their medication within the predetermined time frame. If you leave your house without your pillbox, you’ll receive an alert on your phone. The pillboxes come in multiple sizes and configurations, ranging for a small box that users need to fill each day to a set of boxes with a box for each day of the week. There is no monthly fee – you only pay for the pillbox(es) you purchase. Clearly non-pill medications, such as liquids or injections, cannot be included in the pillbox.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration
This government website allows you to find information on medications, recalls and safety alerts. Additionally, you can find helpful information on a variety of topics, including tips on buying and using medications safely.
Need to dispose of medications that are expired or that you no longer need?
Visit Med-proect.org for information on how to properly dispose of medications, plus a list of locations where you can properly dispose of your medications based on your zip code.