Apparently, 50% of patients in the U.S. are not taking medications as prescribed, meaning they either miss a dose, or take double doses, which may put them at risk.
Studies show that improper medication use and tracking in the U.S. leads to 125,000 deaths a year (or one every 4 minutes), and 700,000 hospital visits a year. Also, 44 out of 100 prescriptions are never picked up at the pharmacy.
Staying adherent to a medication regimen could be a nuissance without some kind of reminder, whether you have a regimen of your own medications, or you care for regimens of others (your loved ones, for example).
MediSafe, an easy-to-use and freely available app for Android and iOS, tries to solve the medication adherence problem, by helping you remember when to take your pills and manage pill usage. According to the company’s claims, which are based on their internal data, the adherence increases to an average of 86%, thanks to this tool.
MediSafe is designed for both patients (and their families) and caregivers, and that's the biggest value of this app. For example, each family member can install the app on their devices, and then sync them among each others to be alerted if one of them misses their medication for the day. MediSafe is also useful for caregivers who are taking care of several families with numerous family members. They could use the app to manage each with their own profile.
Another important benefit of Medisafe app is its capability of managing various drugs for many complex health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It also serves as a perfect mobile organizing tool for taking vitamins, tracking glucose levels, tracking period, and monitoring other health concerns.
MediSafe app opens up to a home screen, which is a nicely designed slider/carousel of images, listing important features of this app. You are offered to create an account, or you may continue using this app as a guest, it's completely optional. Creating account offers better personalization and may work for majority of users, while keeping anonymity may be a priority to others using this app.
Design of MediSafe app is clean and modern, and the app is really easy to use. It gives you a lot of flexibility when you enter the data, for example doses or frequency. You can enter in medications to take either scheduled or as needed, or omit this info if you want.
Adding a medication(s) is as simple as one tap on a screen (red circle with a plus sign). Start typing your medication and auto-complete option will offer you several suggestions from the app's database, based on your input. It's not a problem if you use medications that aren't in the app's database, because you can add those too. Auto-complete option doesn't work in an offline mode, but that doesn't prevent you from using the app or enter meds manually.
Once you enter the name, you can include other details as well, such as reminder times, where you set how often you take the meds during the day, and at what intervals. You can also schedule day intervals, i.e. mark every day, if you use your meds daily, or check numbers of days, or specific days of the week. You can pick the shape and the color of the drug, which is also useful as a visual reminder.
Another useful option is adding Medfriend, which is basically a family member or friend that helps you remember to take your meds in case you forget.
You can also change the dosage, add instructions whether you take your meds before, with or after food, add refill reminder or your doctor.
Once you enter all required data and return to the main screen, called Pillbox, you'll see your meds listed in one of four boxes, depending on the time of the day you've chosen, i.e. morning, afternoon, evening and night.
We've tested MediSafe app on Android device, which plays well with app's interface, including a home screen widget, sound notifications, LED notifications, and vibration settings.
The app also provides integration with Google Fit app. Once you tap on Measurements option in the menu, it gives you an option to track various measurements, from blood glucose and blood pressure, calories taken and spent, cholesterol and triglycerides, to mood levels. Option to connect with Google Fit app is listed within each of the measurement options.
Company also claims that MediSafe app supposedly works with wearable devices, such as Android Wear smartwatch platform. However, we didn't test it on other wearable platforms, so we can't confirm whether or not it integrates with other Bluetooth-enabled or WiFi-enabled devices.
Overall, MediSafe is very useful tool trying to solve medical adherence problem, with pleasant design, easy-to-use interface and real-world usability. But, it's just a reminder, offering no reference or better insights into conditions or diagnoses, or pharmacy records.
Benefit: Any patient or caregiver that wants to keep track of their medications will benefit from this app. Also, doctors who want to replace their patients' paper medication lists with a more convenient smartphone app will find it useful.