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The majority of older adults living in the U.S. have been diagnosed with at least one chronic condition that requires regular medication. In fact, according to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, 92 percent of the 43.1 million adults aged 65 and older have at least one chronic condition, while 77 percent have more than one. Taking the proper medication as directed by the doctor is crucial to managing these illnesses. However, medical nonadherence continues to be a major problem throughout the country. Seniors should consider downloading smartphone applications to assist them in taking their prescriptions on time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained that medical nonadherence often stems from age-related conditions like dementia where people have a hard time remembering things. The source also noted that in 2009, 20 to 30 percent of prescriptions were never filled and 50 percent were not continued as directed by health professionals. It's important that seniors and their doctors work to improve this problem, as medical nonadherence is responsible for 30 to 50 percent of treatment failures and 125,000 deaths annually, according to the CDC.
In response to the issue of medical nonadherence, there are apps that not only serve as reminders for seniors to take their prescriptions at the right time and in the correct amounts, but to encourage them to to do so on a daily basis. Here are three medical nonadherence apps that older adults with chronic conditions should try.
Medisafe is free for both iPhones and Androids. According to the app's website, more than 1 million people have downloaded it from the Google Play store alone. Why do so many patients choose Medisafe?
Many adults are better able to remember things when they have the help of visuals. The app copies the physical characteristics, including size and shape, of every pill once each medication is entered into the app, creating what the app creators refer to as a "virtual pillbox." The website also noted that the app sends users alerts when it's time to take their pills and reminds them of the proper dosage. If patients forget or ignore the alert, the app sends a message to a family member or friend.
Adheretech is a truly innovative pill bottle that connects with an app for all smartphones. The bottle collects data entered on the accompanying app and sends real-time alerts when patients miss or take the incorrect dosage of their prescriptions. Seniors can see how well they're doing by viewing information - when they took their pills, how much and more - on the app's dashboard, explained Adheretech's website.
3. Meds Agenda
Seniors who have a particularly large number of medications with complex instructions should look into downloading Meds Agenda. According to iTunes, the app is $1.99 for iPhones and makes following medication schedules easy. After entering the pills and their detailed instructions, it will send users reminders that include how much of each medication to take and how to take it. A major advantage of this app is that it also sends notifications in areas without Wi-Fi.