A few years ago, Omri Shor’s dad, who has diabetes, asked if he had seen him inject his insulin. Omri said, “no,” meaning he hadn’t seen him do the injection. His dad, thinking Omri meant he hadn’t taken the medication, re-dosed himself and ended up bottoming out his blood glucose. Luckily, it was caught in time and reversed with oral glucose. This got Omri thinking about the problem of medication management and eventually led him to build Medisafe, a product he calls the leading medication management platform. He says it is “a cloud platform with user interfaces that come in the form of iPhone, Android, Apple Watch and Android Wear to help people better manage their medication.”
How is Medisafe different?
Omri says their main differentiator from the jillions of apps, platforms and devices out there, trying to crack the medication non-adherence nut, is that they put the patient first. He says they listen to their users and based on their feedback roll out a new version of the app every few weeks.
He mentioned adding a patient diary as a result of patient feedback. Since I downloaded the free, Android version of the app about a week ago, yet another feature was added—customizing the reminder sound.
Another differentiator, Omri tells me, is their 24/7 customer service (now, that is different—an app with customer service!). I wanted to check this out so I sent them a question. Although it took 48 hours to get a reply, I did indeed get a real (not standardized) reply to my query.
Medisafe has a feature that loops in family or friends, called Med-Friend. You fill out the person’s name, phone number and email address and it generates a text message to ask them if they are willing to help you. If they agree, whenever you fail to take your medication, your Med-Friend is supposed to jump in and nudge you.
Trying it out
Although I am not a fan of having to fill in information on apps, I found it very easy to enter the names and doses of my daily meds—and I could even note the color and shape of the pill—something that would be useful if someone else had to give me the meds. It took only a few minutes to enter all my medications. Since I take everything all at once, I eventually modified my entry to say “morning meds” instead of listing each drug separately. That way, I only have to tell Medisafe once, instead of several times, that I was good and took all my pills that day.
Every morning, at the time I told the app to remind me, a Medisafe screen pops up on my phone asking me to tell it whether I took the pill or not. If I don’t respond, it keeps popping back up until I tell it I have taken the meds. Although my low tech way of tracking my meds has worked for years (I place the pill bottle on the counter and put it back in its drawer only after I take the pills), I actually found the app to be better at keeping me on track—no more going upstairs and finding the pill bottle still on the counter because I hadn’t wanted to take the pills on an empty stomach and forgot after I ate.
Now, that I am getting ready to go to Africa, with a more complicated regimen of new medications (typhoid pills every other day for 4 doses, and malaria prophylaxis before, during, and after the trip), the Medisafe reminders will be even more helpful. I don’t have to take pills multiple times during the day (e.g., BID, TID, QID), but I think that Medisafe’s feature to remind you of each dose would be very helpful to ensure that all the pills are taken on time.
Other Medisafe features, include
- Importing the medication list from your doctor
- Tracking physician appointments
- Logging biometric and other data to email to others
- Reading about my medications
- Keeping a diary of pain levels, or
- Using the GoodRx coupons to get a discount
I didn’t use these features as I didn’t need them, but I can imagine they would be helpful to other users.
The bottom line
Altogether, I found Medisafe very easy to use and really helpful for keeping track of my medication adherence. Since I have not used any other digital medication management tools, I can’t confirm Omri’s claim that Medisafe is the leading medication management platform, but I can say that it is a darn good one and one that I will keep on using. (Thanks, Omri!)