Taking medication goes high tech - FOX 35 News Orlando

Taking medication goes high tech with 'smart' pill bottles, apps

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

Need to manage multiple medications? Nearly half of all Americans forget to take their daily prescription medication, and it's a problem that can aggravate some of the most deadly diseases.  The main culprits: chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

"People need to take a medicine to keep that blood pressure down and it's hard to motivate them," said Dr. Timothy Hendrix of Centra Care. "It's hard to remind them to take that everyday if they're not having symptoms with it."

But like everything else, there's an app for that.  Pill Reminder, an app offered through the website Drugs.com, costs .99 cents and allows you to list all your prescriptions medications and vitamins, and set alarms to remind you when to take them.  It will also keep a personal record of how many times you've missed doses.

Vitality GlowCaps, a wireless pill bottle cap, lights up, beeps and sends you a text alert to remind you to take your pills. 

AdhereTech has developed a battery-operated "smart" pill bottle that uses a touch screen to monitor how many pills are left inside.  If the weight in the bottle is off, it will send a text or call you or your doctor.

Medication compliance technology is targeting the younger generation -- and for good reason.

"I think young healthy people are the most difficult ones to get to take their medicines," said Hendrix. "Older people, it becomes part of their lifestyle, part of their routine. When you're first diagnosed with the disease, say in your 20s, 30s or 40s and you're not used to taking a medicine every day, that's the most difficult person to get into that habit and that routine."

Tablets pre-packaged in blister packs marked with the days of the week should help patients remember. And retailers like Wal-Mart say they are hoping to dispense more like them, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Walgreens also sells a pill cap alarm for $4.99 that sticks to the top of any prescription bottle.

"Anything that can serve as a reminder if you forget to take your medicine, if you get past a certain time of the morning, you get an alarm or reminder, 'oh I have to take my medicine' can help to get into that rhythm of taking the medicine," Hendrix said. "All of those things help."

If you prefer going back to the basics, most drug store still carry your Grandma's standby Sunday through Saturday plastic pill case.

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