If you have to take regular prescription medication, sooner or later it might happen that you'd forget and miss the dose, no matter how meticulous and organized you are. This missed dose might reduce the efficiency of the treatment, or cause more pain and discomfort, depending on the medication you use.
Worse than missed dose is trying to catch up, or take the double doses, which can put you at risk. It is estimated that improper medication use leads to 125,000 deaths a year and 700,000 hospital visits a year in the US.
This is why staying adherent to medication regimen is important, meaning that medications should be taken only as prescribed, i.e. exact dose at exact time.
Keeping track of medications you or your loved ones take each day (especially if it's more than one medication or more than one person) could be a real burden if you don't have some kind of organizer to keep you reminded.
We already reviewed MediSafe Pill Reminder app that does excellent job in helping people stay adherent to their medication regimen, whether they're patients taking their own meds or caregivers in care of others.
Another tool with similar functions is Med Helper app that is available for Android and iOS devices as both free and pro version. It helps users stay on top of their medication regimen, by reminding them to take their medications or renew their supplies, also allowing them to schedule appointments with their doctor, or to track their vitals after every activity.
Upon starting the app for the first time, you'd see that most of the app's features open to a blank screen, meaning that you first have to add medication(s) by tapping on plus symbol in the Prescriptions section. There are four tabs you can fill in with the necessary information for each prescription, including Info, Schedule, Inventory and Contact.
Info tab allows you to add basic information, usually the details from the prescription or provided by your doctor, such as prescription name, number, instructions, side effects, etc.
In Schedule tab, you can set start and end date for the period the medication will be used, schedule type (regular, as needed, or both), schedule pattern (days, months, or days of the week), and interval. Here you can also set reminder times with dosage and alarm, for example if you take your medication three times a day, or every 8 hours, you'll receive alert notifications at the times you've set the reminder.
Inventory tab helps you track your refills, inventory or expiration, while Contact allows you to add your physician who prescribes your medications, or your pharmacy.
Once you've finished adding all required information, the medications will be listed in Prescriptions section. You can edit each entry at any time.
You will also start receiving reminder notifications at the times you've set. You have to tap on each reminder and mark manually that you have taken you medication, and that action would change the color of reminder from orange to green and place it into Med Log section.
Besides using it for detailed medication schedule and prescription management, Med Helper app also allows users to list their local doctors and pharmacies, or to manage their appointments, meaning they can easily schedule visits to the hospital or their doctor whenever they need them.
The app also allows users to track their vitals for different parts of the day, of after various activities, including pulse, temperature, glucose, HbA1c, blood pressure.
Every activity you've added in the app can be tracked by tapping on calendar icon, which enables you to see each day separately.
One of the highlights of this app is ability to create more than one profile, which makes it not only ideal for people who have to take regular medication, but also for people in care of others, such as caregivers and family members who look after sick relatives or patients.
For example, if your child has ear infection and has been prescribed with Amoxicillin, you can create a temporary profile adding the reminders for the number of days the antibiotics have been prescribed. Or you can simply add all your family members and then add prescriptions when required.
Another useful option is ability to export all the information you accumulated, and then share it with your physician.
While medication schedules might be hugely complex, the Med Helper app is not. It is straightforward and easy-to-use, with simple design, allowing users to easily enter all information and set reminders, which are prompt and customizable (you can set your own notification sounds).
It would be nice if the app includes more multimedia capabilities, such as pill ID or barcode scanner, or at least to allow users add visual identifiers, such as the shape and the color of the drug, like in MedSafe Pill Reminder app.
However, even without these features, Med Helper app is still very useful app helping users organize a variety of things concerning medication adherence.
To conclude, if you take regular medications or care for someone that does, the Med Helper app is highly functional and easy to use app that is definitely worth checking out.
Benefit: All people who want to stay adherent to their medication regimen, whether they're patients taking their own meds or caregivers in care of others.