Medication Management and Compliance
In order to practice autonomous medicine, it’s important to be able to manage the data that you collect. Your personal data is only as useful as the ways you have to access and store it. Fortunately these days, there is a plethora of options for tracking your own health.
There are a few categories of medical apps.
Medicine Tracking Apps
As a patient’s prescription list grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember to take them. This is obviously compounded by the fact that typically these regimens get more complicated as a patient grows older.
The WHO (World Health Organization), states that only 50% of patients in developed countries completely adhere to a treatment regimen.
As the regimen complexity grows, adherence drops, and often the biggest challenge for health care professionals is mostly just getting compliance from their patients. In the developed world, the biggest issue is simply that people forget to take their medicine.
This is where medicine tracking apps provide some useful functionality. We discussed in other articles about the dubious claims made by some apps that claim to be able to accurately read blood pressure based on a finger pressed on the screen. However, medical tracking apps provide a very useful function, alerting patients when to take their meds and which ones need to be taken.
This makes the hardest part of remembering a regimen is actually just entering the data into the app.
Medical App Overview
A good medicine tracking app can be a great tool in managing your own health care and seeing trends in your own data. Combining these data tracking tools, with accurate data from various home monitors, and you can get a pretty good snapshot of your overall health.
Dosecast (Montuno Software)
Platforms: iOS and Android
A particularly useful feature of Dosecast is the ability to set reminders based on the time elapsed since taking the last dose. This is a useful feature in real world scenarios where people aren’t always able to take medicines when they should. It’s particularly helpful when taking medications that are time sensitive.
Dosecast doesn’t require an internet connection and can track your time zone, which is useful for those who travel frequently. Any information that could identify you is not stored by Dosecast and all the data is encrypted.
Kraken Medication Monitoring (iMPak Health)
Platforms: All Bluetooth-enabled phones
Kraken’s unique feature is that it’s upload functionality is all based on Bluetooth technology. Also, its name is quite curious, meaning ‘octopus’ in German.
Platform: iOS, Android
This app uses a system of rewards and fun games to gain patient compliance. It’s an interesting take in a field that can often be quite dry.
Platforms: iPhone and Android
Medcoach gives you access to a reference library from the First Databank national drug database. This is great if you’re wanting to look up drug information and interaction details.
Platforms: iOS and Android
This app is not only focused on patients but has their caretakers in mind. For example, an entire family may need to collaborate to take care of a patient and this app allows for them to all have access to the required information.
Pills on the Go (App Singularity)
This app’s unique feature is it’s cleverly designed widgets. These are handy for getting your medication information at a glance of the home screen. They also are a constant reminder of when your next dosing is required.
This tool is an iOS-only app that is focused on managing medication for an entire family. This could be really helpful if a single person needs to manage the meds of multiple people.
This is a simple iOS only app that adds a bit of color and style to the medication-reminder spectrum of apps. It has all the basic features of medications-reminding apps, but with a bit of class and elegance. It also includes some basic security features as well, to keep out snoopers.
This is an app that is unique because it is not just focused on patients, but also provides useful tools to physicians. It provides access a database of information based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations approved drugs list. This is a great tool for patients who would also like to become knowledgeable about their medicines.
It integrates with Walgreens API, which allows users the ability to manage their prescriptions at Walgreens.
It also provides a suite of medication management tools as well, to help patients adhere to their regimen. It’s a bit of a swiss army knife for dealing with many facets of pharmaceuticals.
This is a minimalist app that also integrates with Walgreens. It’s low-frills, instead focusing on a narrow spectrum of functionality. Instead of trying to handle too many features, it’s mainly a medication management tool that interfaces with Walgreens. It also has the ability to add OTC and herbal supplements as well.
It’s easy to use, and thus has a low learning curve. Patients can jump into it right away and add their prescriptions quickly.
If you’re having issues trying to keep track of all your meds, or even simply just remembering to take them. There are a wide variety of free apps that are targeted to your specific needs.