Medication adherence is a hot topic in health care because non-adherence costs the healthcare industry billions of dollars each year. Not to mention the costs incurred by patients that forego medication and end up in the hospital with a substantial medical bill. Fortunately, there are apps for smart phone savvy patients that can help improve adherence and help patients find affordable medications. Here is a review of the top 6 free pharmacy apps for patients.
Multiple medications can be added to the app.
Different people can be assigned to each medication.
Multiple dosages can be added for a single medication.
There is an option for time or event (after meals, breakfast, etc.) dosages.
Consumption history can be edited.
Overdue doses show up in the main window.
One can manually add consumption history.
Files can be exported for use in spreadsheets.
This app has a user rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.
There are no reminders.
There is no place to track how many pills are left and if a refill needs to be ordered.
No area for doctor or pharmacy phone numbers.
There is no option for adding prescription numbers.
No password protection.
Bottom line: This is one of the simplest apps for tracking medication use. It lacks many important features to help with medication adherence. The lack of password protection might be one of the biggest drawbacks. Anybody that gets their hands on your phone can find out what medications you are taking.
5. Pill Tracker
Reminders to take pills occur even when the app is not running.
It logs taken or ignored pills.
Pill logs can be emailed to the prescribing doctor.
It tracks all pills on a calendar.
Notes can be added to the pill log.
Medication units can be customized (pill, tablet, capsule, etc.).
There is an option for password protection.
Customize an image for any pill.
This app has a user rating of 3 out of 5 stars.
Only allows one medication for the free version.
You cannot schedule medications according to date if there is a medication you only take once a month.
Cannot add prescription numbers.
Cannot add doctor or pharmacy numbers.
There is no feature for tracking refills.
Bottom line: This is a convenient app if you only take one medication and do not need refill reminders. To add more than one medication, you can buy the full app but it does not have all the features of some of the other apps on this list that allow more than one medication. It may not be worth the purchase to upgrade to the paid version.
4. Pill Monitor
It reminds you to take your medication even if you are not operating the app.
It has customizable reminder times, repeat dates and pill dosages.
You can choose to take, skip pills or snooze when the reminder pops up.
You can choose a snooze time.
Side effects, recommended dosage, units, RX numbers, doctor and pharmacy phone numbers can all be recorded.
You can add photos for each pill.
There is a section to add notes to pill taken entries.
You can Email compliance history logs to your doctors.
There is a password option to protect your private health information.
This app has a user rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Only one reminder can be added to the free version.
Bottom line: Great app with all the features that one is looking for, but you might need to pay the extra $0.99 for the full version if you need more than one reminder.
Offers estimated medication prices from different pharmacies in your area.
Provides coupons so you an achieve the app’s estimated cost.
Winner of a 2012 Webby Award.
You can browse medications by condition or name.
This app has a user rating of 3.5 stars out of 5.
Some consumers claim the estimated price does not match the pharmacy quoted price.
Bottom line: This app is a convenient way to compare drug prices at different pharmacies. If high drug prices are keeping a patient from buying medications, this app may help find a lower price.
This app is extremely user friendly. It guides you through every step of setting up your medication reminders.
When you type in the name of a medication, it searches the First Databank national drug database to find a match to your medication. The databank also provides information about your medication (side effects, precautions, drug interactions and more).
This app calculates when you need a refill and creates a reminder.
Has a place for doctor and pharmacy information. You can export your contacts into the App if you already have those numbers saved.
You can set up a pin to protect your health information.
This app was rated 4 out of 5 stars by users.
You cannot assign the medications to different people.
The medication schedule is restricted by the days of the week (you cannot put in a date if you only take a drug once a month).
The notification reminder does not include an alarm.
Bottom line: This app has all the features that one needs to increase medication compliance. The only thing that this app is lacking is an actual alarm for when to take medications (sometimes notifications can be missed). Other than that small detail, this is an app that anybody can use with ease.
It has nine different types of reminders: every "x" Number of Days, Hourly, Daily, on specific dates, weekly, on a particular day of the month, as needed, on a particular week of a month, or even just recording pills you took out of the blue
Prescription quantities will count down as you mark your reminders as “taken.”
You can export all your prescription data onto a spread sheet and email your RX history.
A picture of your prescription can be added to the app.
Different family members can be assigned to medications
This app uses the entire FDA Drug Database to search for your medications.
You can add your pharmacy, doctor, and prescription number.
There is an option to alert you to refill when the quantity of pills falls below a certain amount.
This app allows you to receive reminders even while using other applications.
There is password protection.
This app has a user rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
This app does not have a guided set up.
The notification reminder does not have an alarm.
Bottom line: This app has it all. It is not as easy to use as MedCoach but the fact that you can customize the days you take medication makes it ideal for any drug regimen.
These apps can be useful for all patients. They should especially be recommended to patients that have a difficult time remembering to take their medications. GoodRx can help all patients find lower drug prices. With the aid of these apps, patients can be empowered to take charge of their own health!
Reference: Apple iPhone App Store
Comment on this article or post an article by joining the RxEconsult community.
Please Share on Your Social Networks