Having to take different pills several times in a day can be very difficult and complex for some people to follow. Especially when it comes to the elderly and vulnerable, skipping pills or forgetting to take them can have major health consequences. Luckily, automatic pill dispensers entered the market and made everybody’s lives easier. These dispensers are simply loaded with prescribed medication and alarm the patients when it’s time for them to take the treatment.
So, if you’re looking to get a pill dispenser yourself, but don’t know which one’s the best, then you’re in the right place.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll provide you with all the essential info regarding the pill dispensers, as well as which ones are truly the best. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Automatic Pill Dispenser: 4 Things You Need to Know
1. What Is An Automatic Pill Dispenser?
Automatic pill dispensers are devices that release medication at pre-set and specified times. These devices are to help elderly or senior citizens get their medication on time, without skipping or forgetting any of them.
The dispensers simply help people adhere to a specified regime of medication intake, especially when their health circumstances are serious and require regulated medication intake.
The pill dispensers usually only have medical purposes to help chronically ill individuals and elderly patients, especially those who live alone or demetive.
2. How Does The Pill Dispenser Work?
The automatic pill dispenser works by being loaded with medication and having the release time specified. Then, the device automatically releases the pre-measured dose of the medication at a specified time.
The pills are released usually into a small compartment, which can be opened easily. Each time the pill is released, the device produces a loud, alarm-like sound to notify you that it is time to take the meds.
In case you don’t take the pill from the dispenser, some devices can even send notifications to the patient’s caregiver or family who can further address the situation.
3. Why Do People Use Automatic Pill Dispensers?
As we’ve mentioned before, these devices are incredibly helpful for chronically ill or old patients, who either live alone or have caregivers.
But, this is not the only reason an increasing number of people are starting to use pill dispensers. Here are some of the benefits these devices provide;
- Organization of the pills – pill dispensers come with several compartments that can store more than a dozen pills.
The pills can, therefore, be arranged in the order that you want or need to take them. The pills do not mix, and there won’t be a chance for you to get the same pill twice in a day.
The devices are incredibly orderly and reliable. Some even organize the pills for you. Either way, you can be sure that the pills will stay in their compartments, organized, and ready to use.
- Built-in alarm and notification system – the automatic pill dispenser devices are built to have alarm or notification systems that go off every time you need to take the medication.
In some cases, the device can alongside the notifications feature flashing lights as well.
So, even if you need to take the medication in the middle of the night, the alarm system with these devices will surely wake you even from the deepest dreams.
- Easy access to the pills – because these devices are automatic, you can be sure to get your medication without any fuss.
You can say goodbye to struggling with pill bottles and simply embrace your new automatic friend.
These devices work by rotating the tray with the pills, releasing the dose, and waiting for you to pick it up. It’s that simple to get your medication nowadays.
- Storage of the pills – because the devices feature numerous containers, they can hold more than a dozen pills in each container.
This means that you can fill the dispenser with a month-long pill supply.
When the pills start becoming scarce in the trays, some devices will notify you, so you can refill them.
- Modern technology – automatic pill dispensers nowadays have the option of connecting to Bluetooth or WiFi.
This enables you to link the device to your phone or tablet, where you can go through your medical history of medication prescriptions.
This technology is rather useful since you can know when to get a new prescription, and which one you need to refill the dispenser with, even when you’re not at home.
4. So, How Do I Choose The Best Automatic Pill Dispenser?
Here are some tips on how you can choose the best automatic pill dispenser that fits your needs and requirements;
- Check the size – in regards to how many pills you or your loved one requires, you will need to pay attention to the size of the dispenser before buying.
The size usually refers to the number of the compartments and the number of pills each compartment can fit.
- Check the safety – before buying a pill dispenser, make sure to check the safety options, especially when it comes to the options of a pre-set schedule or the alarm/notification system.
Some devices offer the options of locking the time and schedule, so it doesn’t change before you enter a new time or you need to refill the compartments.
- Check the notification or reminder options – some pill dispensers offer different reminder options, while others only operate by releasing a sound.
However, the essential reminders are the ones in case a patient misses to take the pill.
In such a case, these dispensers should alert a caregiver or a family member through a phone call, text messages, or other forms of alerts.
- Check the complexity of use – the majority of pill dispensers are designed to be easy to use.
However, some cheaper options may feature some complicated buttons that the majority of older people don’t understand.
So, if you’re buying an automatic pill dispenser for an older patient or loved one, look for devices that are intuitive and that offer straightforward, even remote use options.
- Check the price – even though it can be great to buy a good device while also saving some bucks, one shouldn’t play around with devices as important as pill dispensers.
It is essential to invest in these devices, so don’t go around checking automatic pill dispensers that cost $100.
We recommend you go for the mid-range to high-cost devices since they provide the best options in regards to safety, reminders, size, and organization.
3 Best Automatic Pill Dispensers: Detailed Reviews
1. Philips Lifeline Medication Dispenser
The Philips medication dispenser is one of the best on the market. The device is designed to handle the most complex medication schedules and regimens.
It automatically releases medication at pre-programmed times, and if the medication is not taken/giver, the device sends reminders and notifications to the caregiver or the family.
- Flexible dispensing – the device can dispense 60 cups of medicine or 6 doses per day. It also has an early-dose feature.
- Safety features – the device ensures the patient takes the prescribed medication on time thanks to the controlled access and programming for PRN (on demand) medication system.
- Alert notifications – the device sends alerts for missed doses, dispenser errors, refills, and even for loss of electricity.
- Rechargeable battery – the device comes with a rechargeable battery that can last up to 18 hours as a backup during an outage.
Additional Info – Pros And Cons
- Upon receiving the dispenser, you can choose to have a technician install it, for an additional charge of $99. This service can be very useful if you’re willing to pay.
- If you don’t know how to set up the device yourself, you can contact the Philips Support Center and ask for additional programming and installing instructions.
- The device doesn’t connect to the WiFi, nor does it use an app. If this is what you’re looking for, then this device may seem outdated.
- The device features an incredibly simple dispense interface but may cause you to have some trouble during refilling, since you have to load multiple plastic containers, one at a time.
- The device does not address the situation when ‘someone else’ takes your pill. When the pill is released, anyone can take it, which can be a problem. However, to dispense PRNs, one needs to access the Caregiver keypad, which is locked.
- If you’re looking for a smaller device, then the Philips pill dispenser might not be for you. It is rather big; the size is 14 x 13 x 13 inches. It has the appearance of a medical device that should be at a hospital, not at one’s home, but some people don’t mind it.
The Philips medication dispenser doesn’t have a startup cost. The buyer, however, has to subscribe to a monthly payment of $59.95.
2. HERO Automated Pill Dispenser
Another exceptional pill dispenser on the market is the HERO device.
The device dispenses medication at the pre-programmed time, but instead of only using notification sounds as a reminder, the device also uses blinking alert lights.
HERO device is aesthetically pleasing and will go wonderfully with your home. Rather than appearing as a medical device, the dispenser looks more like a cool gadget.
- Flexible dispensing – the HERO device manages scheduling for up to 10 different medications and daily doses. It also manages to hold medicine for up to 90 days before the required refilling.
Moreover, the size or shape of the pill is not an issue; the dispenser handles all types of medication without any hindering.
- Safety options – the dispenser is designed to send a notification to the connected members and devices (phones, tablets, caregiver, family), as an additional safety option. Moreover, it sends both audio and visual alerts in cases of missed doses.
- Continual supply – the device features technology that ensures it automatically order medication when it recognizes to run low on certain pills. Not many devices can do that, and thanks to HERO, you’ll never run out of your important pills.
Additional Info – Pros And Cons
- The device is user-oriented and doesn’t feature complicated technology to get the pill. Senior patients are especially fond of HERO since all they have to do is push a button to get their medication, upon the alert sound and lights.
- The device can be directly connected with a caregiver, who can be informed about your pill intake, pill supply, and whether you missed any medications.
- The HERO company offers Everyday Hero membership, which allows the medication to be delivered straight to your door. The medication is covered by your insurance, and you won’t have to wait in lines at pharmacies anymore to get your pills.
- The HERO app is suitable for both Android and iOS devices. The app will help you program any pill regimen, whether it is simple or complex. It will also send you notifications alongside the device itself.
- The dispenser is not designed to handle halved or quartered pills, gummies, or liquids. However, if you do take these, the device can alert you that you need to take them, or that you missed doses.
- The device doesn’t have a backup battery, which can be a problem in case of an outage.
- The setup of the device is a bit complex, so you might need professional and tech-savvy help to get everything up and running. You can always contact HERO Customer Support for more info.
You can have the HERO dispenser for an Initiation Fee of $99.99, and a monthly membership fee of $29.99.
With the membership, you’re getting access to the dispenser, the HERO integrated app, HERO medication refill service, and 24/7 Customer Support.
3. Black+Decker Pria Automatic Pill Dispenser
If you’re looking for a pill dispenser with a unique design and all the modern tech features, then the Pria device is for you.
This newcomer device is a smart dispenser that features, alongside the standard safety and dispensing options, voice assistance, and facial recognition.
The innovative design and the customizable dispensing options are just the start of the things that make Pria an outstanding help.
- Artificial intelligence features – the device provides interaction options to the users and offers the options of chatting and video calls using an incredibly simple interface and experience.
Moreover, the device is further supported by the Pria app, which is suitable for Android and iOS devices.
- Pill wheel – the device features compartments arranged into a wheel. When the device is to release medication, it spins to the required compartment and releases the pill into a designated cup.
- Safety features – when it’s time to take the medication, the device alerts the user on both, the dispenser and their mobile app, suing a notification sound.
However, for additional safety, the device requires facial recognition identification or using a PIN code before taking the pill cup. The device also sends out alerts in case of missed doses.
- Independence– the device is created for senior users or elderly patients who live alone or need company. The user can, through the voice-activated abilities, ask Pria about some everyday topics, make setups for daily tasks, and check on the medication supply in the dispenser.
Additional Info – Pros & Cons
- The device allows you to use the Assisted Filling mode when refilling the dispenser. The pill simply wheel rotates, until the correct compartment is in the right place for you to drop the pills.
- The user can fill the compartments manually as well but might come across some issues. You can take the pill wheel out of the device, and drop pills into designated compartments. However, the pill wheel cannot be opened manually, which can be a problem.
- The dispenser comes with 28 pill wheel compartments, or to be more specific, you can load up to 28 doses of medication into the pill wheel.
- To manage your medication, you will need to have access to the Pria App, which shouldn’t be a problem for the majority, but could be for the elderly patients who are not familiar with such technology.
- The device is activated using the voice activation or wake phrase ‘Ok Pria..’, after which you can manually or vocally choose the required options, or simply ask her whatever you want. If you’re fond of devices like Alexa, then you’ll love Pria.
- Some of the users may find it a bit hard to the device microphone off, or to cover the camera on the device. This seems to be the main concern of the users in terms of their privacy. They believe that the microphone and the camera can be used for someone to listen to your or see you.
You can get Pria for $299.99, or you can use the option of using Pria for 30 days free (and then paying $9.99 per month.
Unfortunately, Pria is only available in the USA, so our overseas readers will have to check some of the other devices on the list.
We Recommend You Also Check The Following Devices
- MedReady Automatic Pill Dispenser – this is a reliable and innovative pill dispenser that has been on the market for over a decade.
The device is always being updated with the latest technology, so the latest model is a perfect combination of safety, reliability, independence, and good value.
The device automatically dispenses medication 4 times a day. It also features a data transmission to the MedReady data center in case the patient misses their dose.
- MedaCube Automatic Pill Dispenser – this is the only pill dispenser that is clinically proven to increase medication adherence, so there won’t be any missed pill with this device.
The dispenser is designed to prepare and release the right medication doses at the right time. It also alerts the user, or re-alerts if the user is late to take the pills or misses them overall.
The device is incredibly easy to use, and it is perfectly safe. Medication refilling is fast, as it will take you up to 2 minutes to get everything up and going again.
- LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser – if you’re looking for a simple and intuitive pill dispenser, then the LiveFine device is for you.
The dispenser is reliable, safe, and features convenient compartments with 18 slots, that can store pill supply for 28 days.
Upon the release of the pills at the scheduled time, the device alerts the patient and the caregiver with sounds lasting for 30 minutes. The device is battery-operated, and intended for simple use, especially for senior and elderly patients.
We hope that our insight and overview of the pill dispensers and the best brands have helped you paint a picture of what device you need.
Make sure to consult with your caregiver or family members about the best dispenser that everyone will find helpful and safe. Opt for devices that focus on safety, organization, and reliability in terms of the pill managing.
For more information about each of the featured devices, make sure to check their official websites, contact their Customer Support lines or reach out via email.More to Know: