Apps can help you manage your pills
Published 1:14 pm, Monday, January 6, 2014
When medications aren't taken as they are prescribed, it doesn't just threaten the health of patients, it costs the American health-care system an additional $290 billion each year. Keeping up with a complicated pill routine can be a challenge, but here are five apps that make it easier:
1. Drug Guide for Consumers: There are several apps that contain a textbook's worth of information on commonly prescribed medications, but most are written for health professionals. This app gives information on 24,000 drugs, including what they're used for, contra-indicators, side effects, how to use them and safety and overdose information. $24.99 for a year's subscription for iPhone.
2. Pillboxie: If you're more interested in a simple medication reminder without all the bells and whistles, there's Pillboxie. Schedule a reminder by simply dropping a pill into a pillbox and the app will remind you on time, even if the phone is asleep or doesn't have an Internet connection. The gentle reminder sound and colorfully simple interface make taking your meds feel like a fun break. $.99 for iPhone.
3. Pill Identifier App: Whether you have a habit of mixing all of your pills together or you wonder what's in your teen's medicine cabinet, the Pill Identifier App by drugs.com has the information you need. With a searchable database of over 14,000 prescription and over-the-counter drugs available in the United States, users can search by drug name, imprint, color and shape. $.99 for iPhone
4. Nightingale: It's not always ideal to schedule all of your pills -- especially those that need to be taken before or after a meal. Designed by an MIT dropout who cared for his grandmother who had breast cancer, Nightingale is designed to adapt your meds around your life. Users log their doses for a few days, then Nightingale sets alerts accordingly. There's also a version for caregivers to monitor patients' compliance. Free for iPhone, Android.
5. Dosecast: With Dosecast, users can input their medications and set reminders for a daily, weekly or monthly schedule. Reminders can be set for a certain time or for a certain number of hours after the previous dose. With an image of the medication plus detailed descriptions and doses, users can be confident they are taking the right pill. Reminders will function without an Internet connection and it logs when treatment has run its course. It even lets users know when they need a refill. Free for iPhone, Android.