Need to order dinner? There’s an app for that on my phone. Check the weather? My watch has an app for that. Want to play the harmonica? There’s even an app for that.
Technology and apps are here to stay, so we might as well embrace the advantages the digitized world can bring. One such advantage is medication reminder apps.
Seniors use more medications than any other age group in the U.S., including prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and supplements. In fact, the average older adult takes at least four medications each day, and over a third of seniors (39%) take more than five prescriptions a day. A third of these seniors who take over five prescriptions a day take an additional five or more OTC drugs.
That’s a lot for anyone to keep track of.
Medication reminder apps are exceptionally helpful to senior adults—helping to automate the medication tracking regimen, providing reminders and tracking doses, and ensuring your loved one gets their medication at the right time and in the right dose.
Some medication reminder apps do more than just remind users to take their medications. Some can order refills, warn the user of harmful drug interactions, and even track upcoming doctor appointments.
As you can imagine, all these gadgets and gizmos can get pretty overwhelming, so we’ve curated a list of the top three medication reminder apps on the market, summarizing their features and listing pros and cons of each.
Top three medication reminder apps
Considered the top medication reminder app, Medisafe is known for its user-friendly design and is endorsed by doctors and pharmacists nationwide. Loved by users, it’s consistently rated a favorite and was named an “Editor’s Choice” winner in the Google Play store.
Medisafe offers the basic features such as personalized reminders and notifications, but also provides drug interaction warnings, refill reminders and family scheduling tools. Also, you and your loved ones can digitally connect with participating clinicians through an integrated platform for care support strategies. A health journal with 20+ trackable health measurements is a great way to stay on top of all aspects of your health.
Price: Free or $4.99/month for premium
Primary features :
- Multiple users/dependents
- Pill reminder and alarm for all medication needs
- Drug-to-drug interaction checker
- Family and caregiver support via “Medfriend” functionality
- Medicine tracker
- Refill reminders
- Doctor appointment manager and calendar
- Support for complex dose schedules
- Ability to add “as needed” medications, vitamins and supplements
- Full selection of OTC and prescription medications
- Daily, weekly and monthly reporting with a logbook to share with doctors
- Ability to track health measurements for various medical conditions as well as weight, blood pressure, blood sugar levels
- Customizable reminders and time settings
- Coupons – Find lowest prices on prescriptions with in-app access to coupons and discounts at pharmacies nationwide (through a partnership with GoodRx).
- Cloud-based – Data is stored on a cloud-based server, so it’s possible to use on multiple devices and easy to shift information and reminders to a new device.
- Certified HIPAA-compliant – Data is secure and client information remains confidential with the HIPAA-compliant 256-bit security.
- Communicate with providers – App provides the ability to send a progress report to your doctor.
- App shares de-identified aggregate data with other parties – The Medisafe developers share de-identified and aggregated user data (grouped together with other data) to health care companies to improve health care treatments through research. Even though your data is de-identified – meaning it’s stripped of any identifying information – it’s important to be aware of this before entering your information.
- App offers access to U.S. medications only – The medication list is based on medications available in the U.S., which means some medication brands may not be relevant to users in other countries.
MyTherapy is designed to allow for holistic health tracking and allows users to set reminders for medications, vitals measurements and activity. In addition to customized pill reminders, it offers measurement tracking (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and exercise alerts. Its daily summary charts can help users detect patterns in their health and help in goal-setting activities. Basically, it’s a combined pill tracker, mood tracker, a health journal and a weight tracker.
- Pill reminder app for all medications
- Pill tracker with a logbook for skipped and confirmed intakes
- Support for a wide range of dosing schemes within its medication reminder
- Ability to track tablets, dose, measurements and activities in a comprehensive health journal
- Family sharing capability
- Ability to share a printable health journal with the doctor
- Personalized tips for treatment
- Wide range of measurements for all conditions
- Injection site tracking
- Suitable for non-English speakers – MyTherapy is available in nearly 30 languages.
- Comprehensive health and wellness app – MyTherapy offers more features related to general health and wellness, compared to other medication reminder apps. In addition to pill reminder functionality, you can track your mood, weight, blood pressure and more than 50 other measurements. This makes it easy to track chronic conditions.
- Cost-effective – The entire MyTherapy app is free; all features are included.
- Shares de-identified aggregate data with other parties – Like Medisafe, MyTherapy conducts scientific analyses with aggregated user data. However, the company claims your data privacy is not compromised in this process and data cannot be traced back to any specific user.
- No refill reminders – Unlike most other medication reminder apps, this app does not provide refill reminders.
- No drug interaction warnings – MyTherapy also does not provide drug interaction warnings or a place for users to add notes about medications, which is common for many other medication reminder apps
DoseCast can send pill reminders with or without an internet connection. The free version is quite robust, offering features like notifications, flexible dose scheduling, expiration date tracking, smart silencing and more. The pro edition adds the ability to sync across multiple devices and many other helpful features that are specific to medications.
Price: Free version and a pro version ($2.99/month or $27.99/year). The Pro Edition comes with a 7-day free trial, and it can be cancelled at any time.
- Flexible dose scheduling
- Ability to customize dose amounts and instructions
- Ability to track drug expiration dates
- Ability to list a maximum number of doses allowed per day (avoid overdose)
- Smart silencing feature
- Encrypted technology
Pro Edition features only:
- Multi-device sync
- Multiple drug types (e.g., injections, inhalers, drops, sprays, ointments, patches, liquid doses and more)
- Dose history and compliance
- Quantity tracking
- Refill alerts
- Multi-person support
- Doctor and pharmacy tracking
- Drug database
- Ability to capture custom drug photos
- Established brand – Launched in 2010, the company has had time to refine its app features and sort out the major bugs. This also has given them plenty of time to establish an excellent reputation. This app has been featured in the New York Times, Real Simple magazine, Reader’s Digest, About.com, Fierce Mobile Healthcare, iMedicalApps.com, and more.
- Wearable-device-compatible – Supported on wearable devices, like a smartwatch.
- Live sync between devices – Not only can you use the app on multiple devices (phone, desktop computer, tablet, etc.) but the information syncs in real time. This means if you make a change to your medication on your phone, the DoseCast app on your computer will update automatically, without you needing to do a thing (requires the Pro subscription).
- Snooze feature – Not able to take the medication when the notification dings? No sweat. Just hit the “snooze button” and the notification will repeat at a later time, ensuring you don’t miss a dose. If you miss the first reminder, you can configure the app to nag you until you respond. You can also configure it to sound a continuous alarm.
- Travel-friendly – The app updates your reminder times if you travel across time zones.
- Flexible dose scheduling – Unlike other apps that can only remind you to take your medication at a fixed time daily, DoseCast allows you to fully customize your schedule. For example, schedule doses on a daily/weekly/monthly schedule, every X days/weeks, only on certain days of the week, or even after a pre-set number of hours or days since the last dose.
- Common features are only available with the paid version – Features common to other medication reminder apps are only available with the Pro Edition.
- Dose variations of the same medication are a hassle – If you take the same medication throughout the day but in different doses, you’ll need to create a separate reminder for each dose.
Friendly suggestions and reminders for pill apps
Medication reminder apps are an excellent way to keep your loved one safe. And they help caregivers, too! They can save countless hours usually dedicated to a haphazard network of paper checklists, verbal reminders and phone alarms. We hope you can spend all the time you save doing something special with your loved one.