In one of the previous reviews, we noted that almost half of the U.S. patients are not taking their medications as prescribed. This could be particularly cumbersome for caregivers who are supposed to follow the prescription instructions on a daily basis, to be sure that person they care for never miss a dose, or even worse, take double doses.
At the certain points in our lives, we have to care for at least one person – our child, aging parent, disabled spouse or other family member – which also means we have to stay on top of all their medications, doctors' orders, and important health information. This is hard and complex task, requiring us to use a lot of reminders each day, from those written on paper to more convenient solutions that we can use on our mobile devices.
There are many mobile apps that do great job by helping users to manage their prescriptions, as well as medications and instructions for their loved ones. One app among them, named CareZone, was designed particularly for caregivers, being a weight off their shoulders when dealing with complex medication management.
CareZone is free app available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, requiring only your email to use it. And that's the exactly the first thing you'd have to do upon starting the app – to create an account, which is super easy and fast.
After you've done, you'll be taken to the home screen, which has the Tips section highlighted by default. You'll see that the app offers many advanced options, first of them being using your phone camera to scan your medicines, allowing the app to make a list of your medications.
The whole process is very simple and intuitive, which really impressed us. The app requires you to take 4 photos (from different angles) of your medication package. The photos are then uploaded, and you'll get a notification once they're up and the medications are listed in your profile.
This feature is very accurate, recognizing the medication from the package in minutes. Of course, information about medications can be entered manually, but using the phone camera really saves the time and simplifies the things for caregivers.
Once the medication is added to the list, you can keep it that way (as directed) or edit details about instructions, prescriptions, doctor info, etc. You can also add refill information and set reminders, which allows app to visualize trends for you.
Adding a new medication is as simple as tapping on plus sign in the Medications list, which opens the camera, allowing you to scan medication or to add information manually.
Back to the home screen, you'll see that the app also allows you to add your Insurance/ID cards by scanning them in the same manner, i.e. using your phone camera. If you're concerned about your privacy, you can skip this part and add Insurance/ID cards later.
The app creators, however, state that you shouldn't worry about your privacy, because all data you provide is protected and secure. We couldn't confirm how accurate this statement is, so it's up to users to decide what kind and what amount of info they should share with this app.
App also offers you to try CareZone pharmacy services, i.e. allowing them to take care of your meds by free home delivery, flex payment dates, etc. If you're interested to opt-in and use this feature, you need to provide your Insurance card, i.e. complete the previous step.
Here you can also add more details about yourself, i.e. your address, DoB, gender, allergies and conditions, but this step is also completely optional.
Services tab allows you to connect your list of medications to CareZone Pharmacy, which is basically same option from Tips page, explained in more detail. Here you can view and share your medical lists, from simple medication list, to detailed list or card for your wallet, or get printing instructions and see more info about the app and its creators.
Beside Services and Tips, home screen also has Inbox tab, which allows you to check help topics or to contact the app support.
Other sections of the app could be accessed by tapping on the Menu icon on the top left. They include Trackers that allow you to track anything from blood glucose, blood pressure, pain, body temperature, to seizure or even HIV counts. This is extremely helpful way for caregivers to keep the logs and diaries, and have them visualized as trends. The app also allows you to set reminders for recording the results.
Journal allows caregivers to write down their observations about side effects, health events or anything else they'd like to remember.
The app also allows you to import health contacts, i.e. doctors, clinics or emergency, for easier access, or to add to-dos, notes or to check calendar. Caregivers can also add photos of important documents and instructions, and store them within the app.
CareZone app is really easy to use, with beautiful, intuitive design. We encountered few 'hiccups' tho. App would occasionally freeze, requiring to shut it down or sometimes to log back in. This happens particularly within the CareZone Pharmacy section.
Aside from this glitch, we couldn’t find any other downsides. CareZone is really fantastic app, made for all caregivers who need to manage the medications for their patients and the loved ones, which is done in simple and intuitive way. But, we found that CareZone app is more than just simple medication reminder, allowing caregivers to also track health conditions and symptoms, to contact healthcare providers, and to keep their notes tidy, in order to provide a better care for their patients.
Benefit: All caregivers looking for an easier way to manage medications and doctor's instructions would find this app useful.