If you have a daily drug regimen, and especially if that regimen includes several different prescriptions, you know the burden of keeping track of what to take when. You likely also know there are potential health risks of missing a dose of an important drug. In fact, an estimated 125,000 people die each year because they don’t take their prescribed drugs. Here’s a look at a three new high tech pill trackers – listed from least expensive to costliest – that promise to help you manage your medications.
• Medisafe iConnect: This tracker couples a free app with your choice of two devices: the $ 20 iCap, a Bluetooth-enabled cap that you swap for the cap that came with your pill bottle, or the $ 50 iSort, a weekly pill organizer that also features Bluetooth. Both devices track when you open your container, and they transmit that info to the Medisafe app on your smartphone. If you can’t remember whether you’ve taken a pill, check the app, and it will tell you the date and time you last took a dose. You can program the app to send you reminders for each of your medications. The app also allows you to send your data to your caregivers and to your doctor. Right now, it’s available for pre-order and is expected to release in September.
• Tricella Pillbox: Also available for pre-order ($ 75), this tracker offers many of the same features as the iSort version of the Medisafe iConnect. As the editors at Medgadget write, it “looks like a standard weekly pillbox, but with a lot more pizazz.” Bluetooth connects the Pillbox to a paired app, which tracks when you pop open the container, and it shares that info with your caregivers and physician. The makers say that it will also send alerts if the device detects that you may have taken the wrong dose. Live Science’s Elizabeth Palermo got a look at the Pillbox at last year’s CES (the product was called “Liif” at that time), and she included it in her top 5 health tech list. She writes that it was “definitely designed with caretakers in mind, and it might help ease the stress of adults who care for elderly family members, or parents trying to monitor their college kids’ medications from afar.”
• PillDrill: Like the devices mentioned above, the PillDrill tracks your pill-taking habits, alerts you when it’s time for a dose, and keeps those involved in managing your medications informed. But instead of relying solely on an app that some people might find tricky to use, the PillDrill uses a wifi-enabled hub that tracks your drug usage through sensors you stick on each of your containers. Whenever you take a pill, you wave the container over the hub, and it records your action. The PillDrill also comes with something called a ‘mood cube.’ Each of its six sides has a different emoji meant to indicate how you feel. Scan it just as you do the pill container so that you can track when you feel good and when you don’t. Liz Stinson of wired.com writes, “This allows someone who is, say, an ocean away to get a sense of what’s happening with their loved one.” At $ 199, however, it’s quite a bit pricier than the other two options. It ships in June.