The path to successful medication management (MM) can be hard if you do not know the questions to ask or the assistive technology (AT) available. We have been helping people at IPAT for many years in the area of medication management and below are some of the questions we ask and the AT solutions that might work. If you are having difficulty with this process for yourself or someone you know, please contact us at 800-895-4728 or email@example.com. Check out a great medication management success story here.
Questions to Ask
Before starting a search for a device or app to help with MM, we need to ask questions. These ten are a great start:
- Does the person need a dispenser, reminder or both?
- If they need a dispenser, does it need to be locked?
- Are there people in the person’s life that might misuse the medication, requiring it to be locked up?
- How many times does the person need to take medication per day?
- How big of a space is needed for the pills at each dose? How many pills per dose and how large are the pills?
- Do they have medication that does not fit into a dispenser such as insulin or creams?
- How is the hearing, vision, memory, dexterity, and attention span of the person?
- If the person can retrieve it from the dispenser, do they still need prompts to take the pills?
- Does the person need help filling the dispenser? If so, how often is someone available to do this or to do a compliance check?
- Do you want a confirmation notice that the person took their pills?
Medication Management Systems
There are many different AT solutions that can help medication adherence. The following are some that we have used with our clients and some that we have researched.
Locked Medication Dispensers
These devices are just two of the many different locked medication dispensers on the market. Many devices have a version like the MedReady that will call a service when non-adherence occurs for an additional monthly fee.
Unlocked Dispensers with Reminders
The following are several dispensers with alarms.
The Watchminder can not only vibrate to alert you with up to 30 alarms per day, but it provides a personalized message on the face of the watch such as TKE MEDS or INSULIN. I wrote a blog a while back on it here.
- Watchminder $69
Other Reminder Devices
Apps for Smartphones
The following apps are all FREE and have the capability to provide reminders to take meds, send notifications to others when there is non-compliance, and many more. We will be discussing these further in future blogs.
A Smart Watch can enhance the capabilities of a smart phone. For example many women who keep their phone in their purse and may not hear an alarm go off thus forget to take their medications. A smartwatch connected to a smartphone will vibrate on the person’s wrist when it is time to take their medications or insulin.
The following watches can receive notifications from medication apps or alarms set on the phone. The Pebble and Apple Watch also have apps that can be added to them that work independent of the smartphone. Meaning if the phone is dead, the person would still get a reminder to take their medications. I wrote a blog a few months back regarding the Vivosmart Watch describing its capabilities.
Epill carries a great assortment of reminders and devices.