The World Health Organization has warned that almost 50% of patients with chronic illnesses are not taking medication as prescribed, if at all. These statistics are alarming because poor medication management contributes to readmissions, preventable deaths, and increased healthcare costs.
The lack of awareness among patients is a serious issue as it costs the US economy nearly $300 billion a year, with resources expended and the price of care. When the National Community Pharmacists Association surveyed the US public to analyze medication compliance, results echoed WHO’s warnings. This prompted the association and the medical field, more broadly, to actively work towards improving medication adherence.
Medication nonadherence manifests in several different ways, from failing to refill prescriptions, missing a dose, taking a lower or higher dose than the prescribed level, or stopping altogether. There are many different reasons why this happens such as, lack of knowledge, high prices, symptoms go away, physical and mental disabilities. Also, pharmacists aren’t usually involved in many treatment plans. When physicians operate in silos, this disconnect can have adverse effects on patient health and the quality of care.
Mobile health apps and mHealth app development have become instrumental in improving medication management to improve the situation. These apps increase awareness, disperse information and educate patients, act as smart pillboxes, connect physicians and pharmacists, and more. They are programmed to be in alignment with individualized treatment plans and their parameters. They also alert healthcare practitioners, pharmacies, and informal caregivers to provide support when necessary.
We’ve compiled a list of ten popular mHealth apps for medication compliance and their stand-out features:
Top Apps for Medication Adherence
Medhelper Pill Reminder
Pill Reminder offers a comprehensive solution to manage your medication plan and remain in contact with your medical provider. Get notifications, import medication plans, record observations, and share information with your health professional.
Key Features: You can easily import your medication data by connecting to one of their insurance partners. It’s a breeze to add medications by searching the pharmacy database. You can even view the medication leaflet to see the side effects and instructions.
According to its developer, the app is used by more than six million individuals and manages eight doses every second. It offers a comprehensive suite of functions that includes medication reminders, refill notifications, and the ability to communicate with your doctor.
Key Features: Medisafe’s strength lies in its drug interaction warnings, which warn you when it is harmful to take two medicines together. The Medfriend feature will notify a responsible family member, or informal caregiver, whenever a dose was missed. It also offers medication coupons that you may use at thousands of drugstores nationwide.
Available on Apple, Android, and Amazon devices, the consumer version of the app offers reminders, log adherence, and the ability to adjust your medication schedule according to your needs. It is available as a free or paid option.
Key Features: You can upgrade to get access to dose quantity tracking and multi-person support. The data is easily synced to multiple devices and linked to a doctor or pharmacy of your choice for convenience.
The mobile app works in synchronization with a smart pillbox. As you fill the pillbox with tablets, it automatically sends pertinent information to your mobile phone. While the dosage is recorded and stored in your mobile app, the lights and notifications on the pillbox will tell you when and how many of each pill you need to take.
Key Features: Praised by celebrities like Venus Williams, you can program various smart alarms or receive notifications on the phone. Adjust pillbox settings and access compliance history.
Smart Pillbox by Tricella
Improving medication adherence, the smart pillbox connects to your phone to transfer your medication intake data. Using inbuilt sensors, the pillbox is programmed to alert family members if a dose is missed or mismanaged.
Key Features: You can connect multiple smart pillboxes to your mobile database. Covered by Medicare, your healthcare provider can also monitor your history through a remote patient monitoring service, free of cost.
It’s a 100% free app that helps manage medications and develop healthy habits. Besides offering all the basic functions associated with most mHealth apps, it can help you keep track of your weight, blood pressure, and dietary habits. You also have access to a vast database of drug information and side effects.
Key Features: Taking your meds properly will let you accumulate free reward points to win gift cards every week. The app even tells you which ingredients in your diet adversely interact with your medication.
Approved by state and federal regulators, Wellth is a medication and care-plan adherence program for health plans, medical providers, and employers. It allows medical professionals to send custom reminders to all their members about medication compliance and medical care.
Key Features: Patients stay in contact with a medical provider 24 hours a day and receive easy-to-understand progress reports related to their health. The app is designed to tackle health issues related to eight common chronic diseases. To encourage participation, members are paid for healthy results.
The medication management app is available for Apple products to improve adherence using easy-to-follow instructions and an effective visual interface. You can use all the basic functions without the need to sign up. Notification reminders are sent at the beginning, middle, and end of the chosen window.
Key Features: Unlike many other telemedicine apps, users can add and customize drug and dosage details. You can also synchronize the app with an Apple smartwatch to receive notifications on the go.
My Meds app connects you, your doctor, and your pharmacy through real-time data exchange. Your pharmacy claims are synced with your mobile phone and transferred to your doctor for review. Use any smartphone device or the Internet to access your account.
Key Features: The app works with the majority of healthcare plans. After authenticating your health plan, your medication automatically populates on our mobile phone. If you forget to take medications as prescribed, or you’re unable to access your app, the clinical team at My Meds can remind you.
Among the top telemedicine apps, Cureatr’s Meds 360 is designed for healthcare providers. Covering all major pharmacies and a growing number of independent outlets, the system gives providers up-to-date information on what’s prescribed and what’s picked up by patients.
Key Features: The app gives real-time alerts of hazardous drug combinations so doctors can warn their patients. It is curated to uncover errors in prescription, which helps eliminate clinical errors. Meds 360 also incorporates the ability to record cash-pays at local pharmacies.
With 64% of the American population utilizing smartphones and the increased number of individuals over 55 using smart mobile devices, more mobile health apps are being developed. mHealth apps can be used to support self-management, educate and empower patients, facilitate positive health outcomes, and improve the quality of overall care.