Medication adherence simply means sticking to your prescription.
It is estimated that three out of four Americans do not take their medication as directed. Not taking your medicine as prescribed can have some bad consequences.
There are medications that should not be discontinued abruptly or that may cause a rebound effect when stopped suddenly. Not keeping blood pressure in check can lead to heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
According to the American Hearth Association, poor medication adherence takes the lives of 125,000 Americans annually, and costs the health care system nearly $300 billion a year in additional doctor visits, emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
However, there are some technological advances that can help you stick to your medication routine.
Mango Health Medication Reminder
This app gives interaction warnings, refill alerts and a health diary. You can track blood pressure, glucose, water intake and more, but the best thing about it though is that you are rewarded for healthy habits by earning points that can be redeemed for gift cards or donations to charities.
Described as a “virtual pillbox,” Medisafe captures the color and shape of a patient’s medications along with their dosages and schedules. It sends the patient push notifications when it’s time to take their meds, and notifies a friend or family member if the patient forgets. This app also provides a convenient way to track other vital information such as blood pressure measurements. A video is available at https://youtu.be/FS3z4Adnf-E to see how the Android version works.
The design layout of My Pillbox is clean and visually pleasing. At each dosage, patients can note whether they feel “worse, the same, or better” with a friendly emoticon and then add a memo. My Pillbox’s streamlined design makes it a good option for users who just need a couple daily reminders.
And for those who opt out on smartphones there is a less technological choice.
Tabtime Vibrating Pill Timer Reminder
A more modern version of the classic plastic pill case. The Tabtime Vibe Vibrating Pill Timer Reminder has five compartments with different alarms that beep and vibrate when it’s time to take your medicine. Has a large easy to read LCD display and is easy to set up and use. Just 1 inch high and just over 3 inches in diameter, it fits easily into a jacket pocket, purse, or backpack.