Medication reminder apps: Is there an app to manage my husband's complex medication schedule?

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Is there an app to manage my husband's complex medication schedule?


My husband just had mitral valve replacement and a triple bypass. We’re both feeling a bit overwhelmed with the medication schedule. Is there an application that can help with medication reminders?

Our answer

Managing multiple medications can be confusing and hard to keep track of, but there are several hardware and software technologies to keep you organized. If you are a smartphone user, there are several apps that are designed to help keep track of medication times, as well as store information about medications. Below are direct links to some examples of apps that may help you with this problem:

  • Medisafe Pill Reminder app will indicate when to take medication, whether it needs to be taken with food, will provide information about the pills (shape and colour, dosage, etc.), and give refill reminders for prescriptions. This app is free and is available for both Apple and Android devices.
  • Pill Monitor Pro app will help you schedule reminders for taking pills, store information about the medication (side effects, recommended dosage, units, etc.), store photos of each pill, and even send logs to your doctor. The price of this app ranges from free to $5 (CDN). It can be purchased for Apple devices only.

Other products include automated pill dispensers, which have audible and visual alerts for when it’s time to take the medication, and even include safety latches to secure the lid in order to prevent accidental overdose. Direct links are provided to examples of such products below:

  • The LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser (at Amazon Canada) has 28 medication slots and can alert the user with audio and visual alerts. The device is battery operated and comes with nine interchangable dosage rings to customize reminder options. To increase safety the dispenser can be prefilled and locked by a caregiver. The product costs around $100 (CDN), plus additional shipping fees.
  • Automatic Pill Dispenser, by MedReadyMedReady Automatic Pill Dispenser (at Alzheimer's Store) holds 28 doses, which each can hold around nine capsules. Similar to the LiveFine dispenser, it can be locked for extra security and has adjustable alarms. The product costs around $160 (USD), plus additional shipping fees.
  • Automatic Pill and Medication Dispenser by Philips Lifeline (at Philips Lifeline) is an automated medication dispenser that offers 24-hour monitoring that provides daily reminders and instructions to the user. If medications have not been taken within 90 minutes of the alarm starting, a monitoring agent will inform a caretaker with a phone call. For more information on this product, call Philips Lifeline at 1-855-681-5351.
  • CADEX 12 Alarm Watch (at epil) is not a pill dispenser but a programmable alarm watch with up to 12 daily reminders. In addition to medication reminders, the watch can store a variety of medical information, such as your name, phone number, allergies, emergency contact, list of medications, and more. The watch reminders could be paired with pharmacy blister packs, which are pill packages pre-filled by a pharmacist that make it easier to take the right medications at the right time. To learn more about blister packs, contract your local pharmacy or chain pharmacy such as Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, or Rexall. The watch costs around $170 to 180 (USD), plus additional shipping fees.

For more in-depth analysis of automatic pill despensers, this article by Tech-enhanced Life offers an in-depth break down of prices, capacity, functionality, and what depenser is best suited for you.

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