Mobile apps for medication management

June 21, 2012

There are several dimensions to dealing with a medical condition, be it a temporary illness or a long-term affection. One of the most crucial aspects to ensure a timely recovery or to lessen the symptoms is medication management. However, it is not easy to always remember even a single pill when you have to take it every day. When you must juggle with multiple pills that you have to take at precise times, it becomes hard to keep track of everything.

Fortunately, several mobile apps now help you keep track of the medication you need and remember to take it at the right moment.

There are several apps dedicated to medication management like MedCoach for iOS and Android, RxmindMe, and Pillboxie for iOS and MedDose for Android. They share the same basic features: they let you register a medication and set up reminders at custom times that you need to take it. The reminders themselves appear as notifications on the phone and of course work even when the app is closed. Most of those apps also include a database of medications so that you don’t have to type their name by hand, in order to speed up the process of setting up your reminders.

Most apps include a disclaimer such as this one to emphasize that they don’t replace a medical professional and that you shouldn’t rely only on them to keep track of your medication.


Beyond those basics, you will also find more advanced features, such as letting you know in advance when you will need a refill (just indicate how many pills you currently have and it will count down every time you consume another dose). While they are all broadly similar some of those apps still manage to distinguish themselves with some unique options.

Pillboxie for instance is remarkable for its neat interface that recreates an old-fashioned pillbox and let you arrange your pill inside it with touch control. However, it seems that you can’t set up reminder at any time other than on the hour (most apps let you at least choose by slices of 15 minutes). MedCoach includes a very comprehensive database of all the uses, side-effects, drug interactions, etc. for every drug in its database while RxmindMe let you export your data to a spreadsheet so that you can take it to your doctor.

Pillboxie recreates the look of your pills to help you better identify them.

All those applications are either free or sold under a dollar, so ultimately if you’re looking for such an app, the best thing to do is probably to try them all and see which one you like best.

Susie Felber

Susie is a writer and producer who has worked in nearly every medium. As the daughter of a hard-working M.D., she's had a lifelong interest in health and is proud that she continues to lower her 5k time as she ages.
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