Phone and online apps that help manage prescription drugs

I’ve written in the past on how to save money on prescription drugs, something that can be very important not only for the uninsured self-pay patient but also for those with high-deductible health insurance or even ‘comprehensive’ plans (especially since there may be no cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs in 2014 as originally planned under the Affordable Care Act).

But what good does it do to save money on pharmaceuticals if they aren’t used or the patient doesn’t follow the doctor’s instructions? Failure to use prescription drugs properly can lead to further health complications, and avoiding unnecessary medical expenses because of forgotten medications should be towards the top of the list for self-pay patients! 

Fortunately technology has stepped up to the plate. The other day a friend forwarded information to me regarding MyMeds, an app for mobile phones or online that helps people to manage their prescription drug use. Their web site provides the following description of the MyMeds app:

MyMeds® is a revolutionary new medication manager and pill reminder for web and mobile (both iPhone and Android). It improves your medication adherence — making you healthier!

…It lets you create, track, and share medication records for your entire family. Ideal for individuals who take medications or caregivers (of elderly relatives and children), MyMeds allows you to:

CREATE: medication profiles for everyone in your family (up to 10 profiles). Then set customized medication reminders (via text, email, or mobile alarm) for each profile.

TRACK: all of your medications–prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal supplements, and birth control pills–using MyMeds’ proprietary WhyMeds™ technology that is written in English (not medical terms) so it is easy to understand. Track your medication adherence too! It’s easy with MyMeds medication tracking tool: just indicate “take” or “skip” for each medication dose.

SHARE: your medication records with whomever you choose: your doctors, pharmacists, family members, health coaches, or school nurses. Invite caregivers to view or edit your medication lists. MyMeds helps you keep your entire healthcare team in sync!

There are other apps out there that perform similar functions, among them MyMedScheduleRxmindme PrescriptionMedSimple, and Meds Agenda (these four, along with MyMeds, were the five highest rated apps according to a 2013 study appearing in the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association.

Each of these apps, as well as the nearly 140 additional apps available according to the study, has their own features and nuances, and it’s unlikely that there is one ‘best’ app for everybody. But self-pay patients who regularly take prescription drugs and want to avoid costly complications or additional health problems, and the expenses that come with them, might do well to consider checking out an app that will meet their needs.

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