If you keep forgetting to take your medicine, you're not alone. Plenty of people run into this problem, especially when they need to take multiple pills per day or when they have to take certain medications at specific times. That said, you never want to put your health at risk by accidentally missing a crucial dose. That's where medicine-reminder apps can come in to save the day, according to new research.
The August 2018 study published in Heart found that mobile apps could potentially save lives by helping people with heart conditions take their medicine on schedule. Researchers looked at 160 adult patients over a three-month period and compared the medicine usage of those who downloaded and used the apps to patients who didn't. As it turns out, results showed that the use of high-quality medicine-reminder apps did indeed increase the participants' adherence to the medication's schedule.
So what's a "high-quality" medicine-reminder app? Contrary to what the name implies, the best medicine-reminder app isn't necessarily one with the most advanced features — or the highest price. Back in 2016, the same researchers who worked on this study also conducted a review of the best medication-reminder apps available on iTunes and Google app stores. They placed the app Medisafe — a free app with thousands of positive reviews — at the very top of the list. They also ranked the My Heart My Life (which is currently being updated) and Pill Reminder apps as good options.
Now, researchers are excited about the positive results from the latest study, calling it "encouraging."
"It's exciting that a basic app — some of which can be accessed for free — could help improve people's medication use and prevent further cardiovascular complications," said lead author Karla Santo, MD, in a press release.
That said, it's worth keeping in mind that this study only lasted for three months and only focused on people with heart disease. More research is needed to see if the app can help people adhere to their medication for longer periods of time. On top of that, researchers also want to test the apps for other health conditions besides heart disease. But this is a promising start — and we can't wait to hear more news like this.
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