The days of simple diagnoses and simpler one-pill that cures all is long gone. These days it’s a cocktail of pills that addresses every illness one is unfortunate to encounter.
The low-tech solution could be to fall back on the prescription again and again and trust your memory to have (or serve) the right medicine at the right time. The middle path could be to order up one of those medicine boxes from eBay or elsewhere that comes with color tags and partitions for the dosages.
The geekiest option is of course, to turn to a trusted mobile app…in this case, any of these Android apps which can help to remind you to take pills on time.
Med Minder – Free (1.5+)
This app is a little install with a small footprint. The only peeve you can have with this pill reminder app is that the free version is ad-supported. Though that doesn’t come in the way of its functionality. Operation is simple: you key in the medicines individually and also save their dosage times and days. You can enter multiple medicines and multiple dosages. You can also enter details like – quantity per dose, quantity per refill etc. and any other prescription details for the particular medicine.
The app will set off an alarm and a pop-up when the appointed time arrives. The free app does not give you a choice of alarm sounds though and you have to work with the default one.
AnyTimer Pill Reminder (2.1+)
At the onset, you can create two types of timers – Interval Timer (based on time intervals between dosages) and ‘Times of Day’ Timer (based on clock times). The above screenshot is based on an interval time. The time picker is cool, though the app gives you an option to default to the one used by the system.
You can also set different alerts like – flashing the LED, setting a persistent alarm, vibration, or simple sounds (choice of two). You can sort the med list by creation time, name, or by next alert time. Though primarily for reminding you about pills, you can tweak the app for other scheduling tasks too.
Med Helper (2+)
This colorful app is full-featured when compared to the previous two simpler ones. The key feature is that you can set up medication logs for multiple people…for instance, your entire family. Though the number of data entry points seems large, it is actually quite simple. Here are the details you can key in:
Schedule: All the reminders are displayed here as per the prescription. You can go into the Preferences and set up reminder sounds by picking on any from the ones in the system.
Take as Needed: This is for recording medicines that do not fall under a fixed schedule. For instance, a sleeping pill that has been prescribed for one-off use.
Med Log: This records the doses which have been taken. The information is fed from the schedule.
Prescription: Prescriptions are where you set up reminder schedules, track inventory and refills. The prescription is what you should fill first. The tabbed view displays the place where you can set up schedules plus the doctor and pharmacy information if needed.
Notes: Jot down related health info. For instance, history of any allergies.
Doctors: You can use this to set a prescription to the prescribing physician from a drop down list
Pharmacies: You can create a list of pharmacies and link it to a prescription.
Appointments: Record appointments and link them to a doctor or pharmacy
Reporting: You can select a report (or multiple ones) from the list, select a date rage, and specify an email address to send it to. The report goes as an HTML attachment. You can also send an Excel spreadsheet,
This link will take you to the developer’s website where a well-documented manual helps you through the configuration steps if needed.
There are quite a few more pill reminder apps in the Google Android Store. I picked up two simple and a full-featured one that covers all aspects you would expect a medicine management tool to do. How do you manage your medicines and doses? Do you rely on a well-established system, or are you willing to trust out these kinds of apps on your smartphone? Tell us…and here’s hoping you always stay healthy.