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Staying healthy and getting your medications exactly when your body needs them is vital, but sometimes you just forget.
Thankfully, there are many products and services out there that add ease and simplicity to adhering to your medication regimen.
What it is: Handheld timer
How it works: If general forgetfulness is the reason you have problems adhering to your med timetable, you may want to try this timer from TabTime.
It has eight different alarms that beep when it’s time to take your medication.
Just 1 inch high and just over 3 inches in diameter, it fits easily into a jacket pocket, purse, or backpack.
Price: The TabTime Timer costs around $25.
What it is: Timer shaped like a bottle cap and a pill bottle
How it works: If you like your reminders analog and you only need to take one medication a day (such as antibiotics), the e-pill TimeCap & Bottle Last Opened Time Stamp with Reminder might be a good option for you.
The TimeCap easily affixes to the top of your typical pill bottle. You can also use the pill bottle that’s provided with your purchase.
After you take your pill, fix the TimeCap back onto your pill bottle. The display will automatically show the current time and day of the week. This helps you know when you last took your medication.
You can set a single daily alarm or as many as 24 daily alarms. Alarms can only be set on the hour.
Price: The e-pill TimeCap & Bottle Last Opened Time Stamp with Reminder retails for $30-$50.
What it is: Online pharmacy services
How it works: If you want the dosing done for you and to not even have to go to the pharmacy, PillPack has got that and more.
When you sign up for this online pharmacy, you transfer over your medications and set up a start date. Next thing you know, dosed-out medications start arriving at your doorstep every month, in plastic packages strung together on a roll.
PillPack will even contact your doctor to confirm your medication schedule and handle your prescription refills.
All you have to do is pay attention to the time and date printed on each individual package.
PillPack once offered a smartphone app that allowed users to set various reminders throughout the day. It’s been retired.
However, PillPack’s website does note that iPhones and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices give you the option of setting up your own manual alerts.
Price: Use of PillPack is free. You’re only responsible for the costs associated with your medications.
What it is: Pill dispenser/online and in-person pharmacy services
How it works: If you want visual reminders as well as alerts by phone, then MedMinder has got you covered.
This pill dispenser holds four daily doses of medication. It also doles out digital reminders — lights, beeps, and phone calls — with its own cellular connections, which means it doesn’t need to be linked to a phone line or the internet.
MedMinder has certain features that make it ideal for caregivers who are helping others manage their medication schedules.
For instance, caregivers will also receive an email, text alert, or phone call if a dose is missed. Weekly summary reports are available as well.
Additional features: Individual pill compartments can be locked until a medication needs to be taken. This helps prevent users from taking the wrong medication. Locks are also an important safety feature if young children are around.
MedMinder has its own emergency call center too. Should they need immediate medical assistance, users can connect with personnel by pressing a button on a special pendant necklace or watch.
MedMinder also offers pharmacy services, similar to PillPack. In addition to online pharmacy services, MedMinder has brick-and-mortar locations in Brooklyn and the Boston area.
Price: The MedMinder pill dispenser has a monthly service charge of $49.99, and there’s no additional cost for the pharmacy services. You only have to cover the cost of your medications. You can even use the MedMinder pharmacy without renting the pill dispenser.
What it is: App/online pharmacy services
How it works: The Medisafe medication reminder is a straightforward smartphone app. You’ll record when you take your medications and receive medication reminders.
You can use Medisafe to help manage numerous people’s medication regimens, thanks to the ability to have multiple profiles. It also tracks your prescriptions and reminds you when it’s time for a refill.
With the Medfriend feature, you even have the option of syncing your app with someone else’s, like a family member’s.
If you miss a dosage (and don’t respond to several alerts), your Medfriend will also receive push notifications.
Medisafe doesn’t operate its own pharmacies, but it does offer online pharmacy services in conjunction with the startup Truepill. To sign up, simply look for the Medisafe Pharmacy Services option on your app menu.
The Medisafe app has received 4.7 and 4.6 stars, respectively, on the iOS and Android app stores. It’s available in over 15 languages, including Arabic, German, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish.
Additional features: Additional features include the ability to track important health measurements, such as your weight, blood pressure, or glucose levels. If you’re in the United States, it can even warn you about possible drug interactions.
Perks of the premium version of the app include the options to have an unlimited number of Medfriends and track over 25 health measurements.
Price: The standard Medisafe app is free for iOS and Android. The premium iOS app is available for $4.99 a month or $39.99 a year. The premium Android app is available for $2.99 a month or $39.99 a year.
Pharmacy services are free. The only costs are the ones associated with your medications.
What it is: App/online pharmacy services
How it works: CareZone comes with a robust set of features, combining many of the most exciting parts of the previously mentioned medication reminders.
CareZone offers pharmacy services. They’ll send your medications to you each month. The medications can be packaged in bottles or sorted and organized into individual packets. It’s your choice.
They’ll also coordinate with your doctor to ensure you don’t miss out on any refills.
You can receive reminders through the CareZone smartphone app. For iOS devices, there’s even a setting that allows reminders to play a sound when your device is on silent or Do Not Disturb mode.
The CareZone app has received 4.6 and 4.5 stars, respectively, on the iOS and Android app stores. It’s available in English.
Additional features include:
- the ability to track information such as your weight and glucose levels
- a journal to record your thoughts and symptoms
- a calendar to note your upcoming medical appointments
- a message board where you can connect with other CareZone users
Price: Use of CareZone’s services and its app is free. You’re only responsible for the costs associated with your medications.
DID YOU KNOW?
A 2017 study found that adults were much likelier to take their medication and to take it on time after receiving daily text message reminders. Over 2 weeks, the percentage of people who forgot their medications dropped from 46 percent to 5 percent. The percentage who had medication delays dropped from 85 percent to 18 percent.
Taking your medication should be as easy and automatic as possible, not yet another thing you need to add to your mental checklist.
Whether it’s making sure you don’t forget your medication, or making sure you don’t accidentally take two doses, these products and services go way beyond your parents’ pillboxes. Try one of them today.