Pillbox App Helps Patients Remember to Take Their Meds

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For those who have medical conditions, it'd be nice if your doctor could be with you all the time to monitor your progress, but he has other patients to attend to. Luckily there's an app that lets him make sure you're staying on track, at least in the medication department. MediSafe Project 2.0, a free app available for Android and iOS, sends alerts when a patient has missed a dose of their medication.

Imagine you have an elderly mother who you have to remind every day to take her pills, and you constantly worry about whether she's missed a dose. Or your teenage son just went off to college and you're concerned about him taking the medications he needs every day on top of his busy schedule. MediSafe Project 2.0 can come in handy for both of those situations, plus many more.

Patients use adherence rates, or the frequency of which they take the medication they're prescribed, to evaluate how well they're doing in taking their medication. They can email their personalized list to their doctors, caretakers or family members to put their mind at ease and show how well they're doing, or show where they could use some work. Plus, if patients miss a dose, the app sends their family, friends or caretakers a notification. That way, even if they forget someone knows, so they can intervene and make sure they don't miss the dose again.

Users have a virtual Medicine Cabinet, and by selecting a particular medication and recording they've taken that dose, it's documented. An enhanced refill reminder alerts users to when their dosage is getting low, and they can adjust how far in advance they'd like to receive a notification to refill their medications. And users can have multiple profiles, which is ideal for a nurse or caretaker who has several patients to look after.

MediSafe Project has been around for awhile, but the 2.0 version includes a feature that lets patients send a personalized list of their medication adherence statistics to their doctors. Launching four months ago, MediSafe has already been successful with users: those who use the app have a self-reported adherence rate of 79 percent, while the World Health Organization's average is 50 percent.

It's a good idea in theory. However, we're concerned about the large percentage of the elderly who need daily medication to carry out their daily functions: A lot of them don't even own smartphones, so they won't be able to use MediSafe Project. Plus, we can see patients remembering to take their dose but forgetting or being too lazy to record it within the app.

While MediSafe Project is available now for Android and iOS, the 2.0 update is only available for Android now. An iOS update will be available in June.

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Molly Klinefelter, LAPTOP Assistant Editor
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