As per a survey conducted by Statista, medication reminder apps are one of the 10 most popular health apps used by adult residents of the US. Most of the people who participated in the survey said that they have used some kind of a pill reminder at least once in their lives.
The medication reminder applications are beneficial for medical professionals because these apps give them more control over patients’ medication management. Also, these apps help doctors to provide the patients with better and safer care. Such an app can be created with the help of professional healthcare app developers available in the marketplace.
But before choosing one of them, let’s explore the top six features of a multifunctional medication reminder application. Also, in this article we have tried to explain why involving such kind of patient app in treatment can be effective for caregivers and patients.
1. Digital Medication Plan
One of the most significant features of a medication reminder application is a digital medication plan [pdf link]. With the help of this feature, other functions become much more helpful and convenient for patients to use as they can easily access the data from the schedule.
To keep the medication app completely secure, the initial medication plan should be developed by an experienced medical professional. Once prepared, the plan can be shared with the patients on their mobile devices. But the plan will be available for the doctors to edit as and when they require.
With the help of a medication plan, both the physicians and the patients can be on the same page. After visiting in person to the clinic, if the patient needs to make some kind of modifications in their dosage of medicines, they can contact the medical professional and get their medication plan updated and reviewed.
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2. Medication Reminders & Notifications
It might be easier for the patients to remember what medication to take at what time if they have to take only one or two types of pills during the entire day. But with the patients who have a more complex and intensive medication plan, the task of taking pills at the right time can be daunting.
This issue can be solved by incorporating the feature of pill reminders and notifications in your medication reminder application. These reminders and notifications will display the name of the medicine and its prescribed dosage. Also, you can include a photo of what a particular medicine will look like. This feature will be especially helpful for patients with neurodegenerative disorders.
These reminders and notifications about the medicines will not only ensure that the patients take them in time, but it will also give them an idea of when to restock the meds. In order to make this feature function smoothly, a patient has to take note of the dosage and the number of pills they have purchased. They will feed this data into their app’s medication plan on their mobile devices. With the help of the app’s automatic algorithm, it will calculate by when the meds stock will be exhausted and notify the patient about it in advance.
3. Efficient Drug Interaction Checker
One other important feature that can help patients in taking their medicines timely is a drug interaction checker. It is a significant part of a multifunctional medication reminder application. The app can have the drug interaction algorithm always running in the background.
When a physician or a patient adds a new medicine the medication plan, the drug interaction checker will immediately run a test that gives a warning message to the patients or the caregivers in case the new pill is incompatible with the medication that is already prescribed in the plan.
In addition, the patients can also include their personal conditions such as allergies or pregnancy. The drug interaction checker will assess the condition-drug interaction for every pill that is added to their medication plan of the application.
4. Instant Prescription Renewal
Getting prescriptions renewed through a mobile app saves a lot of time for both the doctors and the patients. Patients will be made to fill the form for prescription renewal once when they receive an automatic reminder about their prescription getting expired.
This form will be made available to the medical professional digitally. They can contact the patients in case they have any question regarding their condition. Then the doctors can take their time and send the new prescription to the patients via the app only. It becomes easier for the patients to either print it out or show it directly to the drugstore attendant right on the screen of their smartphone.
5. Checking The Medication Price Or Location Of The Nearest Drug Store
One of the most popular features of a standalone medication app is its ability to check the nearest or cheapest drug store which has that required medicine in stock. But when combined with the medication reminder app idea, it becomes much more beneficial.
There is no need for the patients to remember and input the long and complicated names of their medicines into a search box. They just need to pick an entry in their medication schedule, set the parameters of cost and distance by priority, and start a GSP-based search.
In case the app has certain drug stores as partners, it will also show discounts for which the patient is eligible for. Also, you can include a map with navigation in order to help those patients who want to purchase medicines at the cheapest rates and for this they are even ready to travel over long distances to little-known locations.
6. Special Pills Identifier
Some of the most common things that annoy patients are when they find a vial of pills but there is no label, or a single loose pill in a random medicine box, or a blister with a faded and unclear description. In such situations, they don’t have any idea of what those pills are. This problem can be solved with the help of a pill identification feature.
There are two different ways of implementing this functionality, but both the ways differ in the terms of development costs and convenient of use. The less convenient, but cheaper alternative for this is letting patients manually input the characteristics of the pills such as size, type, color, shape, and intagliation.
The application will check the database and display a comprehensive list of medicines with similar characteristics. Unfortunately, in the case of multiple variants, the patients will be left with the option to search for the name of the pills they could have had in their stock earlier.
The second option is more user-friendly, but a bit expensive. In this, the app will ask the patients to upload the image of the pill and then with the help of complex image analysis algorithms the app will search for similar pictures in their visual database.
This feature is more effective in case of some variants because it allows the patients to do two things at the same time. They can also look at the medication name and compare the images of the suggested medicine with the pills they have had earlier. Therefore, in this case there are higher chances of identifying the pills accurately.
Medication apps are powerful tools that enable patients to manage their medication intake properly and effectively. By considering the medication plan as the core feature, healthcare app developers can incorporate other supporting features such as a drug interaction checker, reminders and notifications, prescription renewal, drug store search, and pill identifier so that to make the medication reminder applications equally valuable for both the doctors and the patients.