According to the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), seniors use more medicines—prescription, over-the-counter (OTC) and supplements—than any other age group in the U.S. Whether you take one pill or ten, it can be difficult to keep track of what time you took it and when it’s time to take the next one. If you find yourself missing doses or having trouble managing your prescription drugs, a daily pill reminder may be the answer to help keep you on track. Luckily, some of the best medication reminder devices come in the form of a free and easy-to-use phone app.
How can pill reminder apps benefit you? Medications should be taken properly without altering doses or taking breaks in order for them to work best – and these apps can help you take your pill on schedule. Neglecting to follow a doctor’s orders is called medication nonadherence and is estimated to cause approximately 125,000 deaths per year. A patient may not follow the instructions for their medication because of high costs, a fear of potential side effects, misunderstanding the need for the medication, or not realizing how much time is necessary to see results. However, another big reason for medication nonadherence – one that pill reminder apps address – is that patients can forget to take their medication on time or they may not be able to manage to keep their number of medications straight.
Here’s a roundup of the best pill reminder apps to help you or a loved one improve medication adherence. These top five medication reminder apps offer beneficial features, including:
- Medication names are easy to find and add
- Dosage times are easy to enter
- Alerts notify you when it’s time to get prescription refills
- A family member’s medication details can be tracked or shared
- The apps are compliant under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), so your health information is protected by encryption and regular security updates
Medisafe Meds & Pill Reminder (Android and iOS) is consistently rated a favorite among users and reviewers and was named an “Editor’s Choice” winner in the Google Play store. Organize all of your pills in one place using the auto-complete function, get notifications to take your meds, and receive reminders to fill your prescriptions. Check for drug interactions and keep track of your health; including, blood pressure, glucose, weight, pulse, and temperature, and share the results with doctors. Store your doctor and pharmacy contact information, create a to-do list, and import medication lists from drugstore accounts. Caregivers can connect with the app to get notifications about when it’s time for their loved one to take their medication – and they can see whether or not it’s been marked as taken.
CareZone (Android and iOS) can help you and your family manage all of your medications, prescription refills, appointments, contacts, and more in one place. Get pill reminders, record doses taken, and track progress. Easily create a medication list with auto-complete or use your phone to take pictures of the prescription bottle to automatically import the details. Use the camera function to take pictures of important documents and save them for when you need them. Share access with certain family members to coordinate care for a loved one or make sure there’s a backup in case of emergency.
With Care4Today (Android and iOS), you can add your medications, get reminders to take them, refill prescriptions, and get appointment reminders for visits to your healthcare providers. It also includes pictures of pills, and a custom name and photo can be added if it’s not in the database. The app can notify family members when doses are missed and be set to tell them either immediately, at the end of the day, or not at all. Seven-day or thirty-day graphs show how the medication schedule is being followed and can be shared with loved ones and healthcare providers.
RoundHealth’s app (iOS) has a simple and clean interface for storing all vitamins and medications in one place without too many fancy bells and whistles. Easily add prescriptions with autocomplete, add the time window for when you want to be reminded, get pill reminders, and track your history on a calendar to see when you did or did not take your medication. You can save your medication history and sync data between multiple devices with a user account.
5. Pill Reminder by Drugs.com
Add medications, enter dosage times, and set up reminders in the Pill Reminder app by Drugs.com (iOS). This app has many useful features such as the ability to add photos of pills for a quick visual reference and include custom notes with pill reminders about how the drug should be taken. You can see a schedule of when you have or haven’t take your medication, and read side effects and interaction information about your drugs. With multiple user support, medications can be assigned to yourself, family members, and those you are caring for.
Consider trying a few of these pill reminder apps – as the best medication reminder app is the one that works best for your needs.