PillPack — Medication Reminders
By PillPack, Inc.
Download from iTunes
PillPack is a mail-order pharmacy that raised $62 million last year and was featured by basically all mainstream media as the latest innovation in the sphere of online pharmacies. This company works with the nationwide pharmacies database and the medics themselves, as well as the health insurance providers to ship its customers the individually packed dose of their medications. A year later, PillPack launches its mobile app Medication Reminders, and you don’t have to be a PillPack pharmacy client to use the app.
With a slew of reminder apps and alarm features of the apps with a broader functionality, users aren’t desperate for yet another one, but PillPack has a few advantages to offer. Currently available for iPhone and Apple Watch, PillPack Medication Reminders can import your medication list automatically. You will need to submit your name, date of birth, address and the last four digits of the Social Security number, all of which allows the app to scan the country’s pharmacies for your prescription medications and import them into the app.
From there, you manage the medications into “packages” by dose time, and finally, schedule the packages according to where, or when you want to take them. Here comes handy PillPack’s tapping into your iPhone’s or Apple Watch’s sensors because you can have the app track when you get home, or at the office, and remind you to take the meds when the phone registers your home WiFi network, or based on your GPS location. This is especially convenient when you want to take the dose when you come home in the evening, but it doesn’t always happen at the same time, so time-based reminders don’t work out as planned.
Potentially, Apple Watch’s functionality will expand the app’s features and the developers see a slew of opportunities here that would allow to provide more customizable reminders based on the health-related data the watch reads.
The UI is uncluttered and the design is utterly chic – the gestures and controls are intuitive and based on some of the email apps most users are familiar with – swipe to snooze, tap to mark the dose as taken. The fluid visual effects are a marvel.
On the flip side, you should understand the app is geared to tempt you into switching to the PillPack service from whatever service you are currently using. If compared to some other apps, PillPack definitely stands out in terms of the design and UI, but lacks in some features if you are not using the service. For example, you can’t see how many you have left and how soon it is until your next refill, unless you are the client. You can’t split the dose into several takes – for example, if you have three pills in a scheduled dose, and you like to take one before the dinner, another in the middle, and the third one 30 minutes after that, you cannot pull this through in the app – you have to mark as taken either all of them as a scheduled dose, or none of them.
Finally, the greatest disadvantage of the app is there doesn’t seem to be a report feature for non-PillPack service clients. You can see the dose you have snoozed or discarded, but the centralized report for a set period of time is currently unavailable. However, I have confidence the feature might be integrated in the future updates since the company is quite aggressively fueled to tempt the customers to try their mail-order pharmacy service.
All things considered, if you sport an iPhone and Apple Watch and have a list of meds and an analog tray where you disperse your pills according to the day of the week the old-fashioned way, you might as well find there is a better way to remind yourself or your loved ones about their prescription drugs.
Finally, according to CDC about 50% of Americans take at least one prescription drug daily – that’s a decent portion of potential clientele for the service.
What apps are you using to remind you about your medications? Are they helpful, or are you looking for another one? Share your impressions in the comments below or join a conversation on our forums. Don’t forget to like and follow our page on Pinterest, Google+, Facebook and Twitter to receive our hand-picked apps and game reviews, news and guides for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.