automatic pill dispenser with alarm

Comparison: Automated Medication Dispensers

Automated Medication Dispensers Provide Peace Of Mind

For elderly Men and Women, an Automated Medication Dispensers system can be the difference between life and death.  Fist, an auto medication dispenser will reduce the stress of trying to remember medication. Loved ones can relax knowing the system will issue a reminder when the next dose is due, and that the dose will come ready measured so there is no chance of taking the wrong amount. Using an automatic pill dispenser helps support independence in the home.

For caregivers, knowing their loved one has a system at hand for keeping track of meds, is a relief. They get peace of mind knowing that even if they are not there, their loved one’s medications are measured and ready to be dosed out at the right time. Some pill dispensers also offer monitoring options for caregivers who want to keep a closer watch on their loved ones.

There are several automated medication dispensers on the market, so which one should you choose? Here are four systems we think you’ll find useful.

Automated Pill Dispensers Comparison Chart

 

First of all, remembering to take the right medications at the right time is no easy challenge.  For example,  when the amount and complexity of medications increases over time. Missing the right dose or taking too many pills is dangerous. In fact,Samuel Demar, Staff Writer for MED-Q, the makers of MED-Q Automated Pill Dispenser, states, ” 1 out of 10 hospital visits are the result of taking the wrong prescription medications. An automatic system reduces hospital visits due to missed or overdosed medications.

The comparisons below shows a quick comparison of each of the systems we looked at.

MED-Q Smart Pill Dispenser with Alarm and Timer

  • MedaCube

    Automated Medication Dispensers

    This automated medication dispenser that can hold up to 90 days worth of medications. MedaCube  medication dispenser has been clinically proven to reduce non-compliance.

    Top Features: The pill dispenser will alert the user when it’s time to take their scheduled medication. All the user has to do when they hear the alert is touch the screen on the MedaCube, and a drawer pops out with their medication dose ready to take.

    If the dose is missed, MedaCube sends another alert ten minutes later. Caregivers (and any other members of a “care team”) receive alerts whenever a dose is late or missed, and they can view a secure record of all doses dispensed (and which ones were missed or late) via MedaCube’s secure web portal.

    Cost: Several pricing options available:

     

     

    • A one time no-contract purchase of $1,499
    • A lease-to-own arrangement of $59 monthly for 36 months
    • A cancel-anytime rental contract of $99 monthly

    Philips Automated Dispensing Service

    Philips automated medication dispenser.

    Philips automated medication dispenser: Photo courtesy of Philips Lifeline.

    Philips Automated Dispensing Service is a subscription service with real-time monitoring options.

    Doses: Caregivers or nurses load medications into up to 60 cups. Depending on the amount of medication, the system is good for up to 40 days of doses, and can handle six different doses per day.

    Features: The user hears an alarm when it is time to take a medication. They press a button, and the machine dispenses the appropriate pills.

    What we love are the monitoring features. Philips Automated Dispensing Service is linked to the phone line (it also works on VOIP) and will issue alerts to caregivers if doses are missed, if there is a dispenser error or power outage, or if medications need refilling.

    The system also offers a pre-program option for on-demand or PRN meds, so seniors can request doses safely.

    Cost: $59.95 per month

    MedReady 1700 Automatic Dispenser

    med ready automatic medication dispenser.

    Med Ready automatic medication dispenser. Photo courtesy of Med Ready.

    MedReady offers a reasonably priced basic option, with a monitored version (MedReady 1750 PLUS) available for a little extra investment.

    Doses: Holds up to 28 doses and can dispense up to four times a day.

    Features: This is an easy to use basic unit that comes with an AC power adapter, rechargeable battery, and a locking lid to prevent double doses.

    MedReady 1750 PLUS is plugged in to the user’s phone line. Dose updates are posted to a secure website which caregivers can access. If a dose is missed, the unit alerts the call center, who will call up to three emergency numbers.

    Cost: $149, or $159 for the MedReady 1700FL which is equipped with a flashing light as well as an audio alarm. MedReady 1750 PLUS costs $207 plus a $16 per month monitoring fee.

    Related: How to Dispose of Expired Medications

    Livi

    Livi automated medication dispenser.

    Livi automated medication dispenser. Photo courtesy of Livi.

    Livi is another subscription service, which can handle several different types and shapes of pill.

    Doses: Can handle up to 15 types of pill, and dispenses up to 24 times per day. Stores up to 90 days worth of medication depending on dose and number of pills. We like that it handles non standard sized pills (some systems only handle aspirin sized tablets.)

    Features: Livi has an easy-pour system which lets caregivers pour each kind of pill into the machine without the need for hand sorting. The unit works for on-demand as well as regularly scheduled medications. The unit can even dispense up to 14 days worth of pills into travel packs for help with medication doses away from home. Caregivers have access to an online portal where they can manage dosing and alerts.

    Cost: Livi offers different packages depending on the amount of medication taken each day. The basic plan is good for up to 10 medications per day and one caregiver has access to the unit as a rental subscription for $79 a month. The standard plan is good for up to 15 medications a day and gives multiple caregivers access for $99 a month.  Optionally, you can buy the system outright for $1,999 to do away with the monthly subscription fees.

    Accutab Undershelf Dispenser

    E-pill Accutab medication dispenser.

    Accutab medication dispenser.

    Doses: Up to three times a day for one week. Compartments are suitable for large medications or supplements.

    Features: The Accutab simply slides under any countertop. It was designed to make medication management easy for those who perhaps do not struggle with remembering meds, but struggle with opening bottles and packets. Users simply slide a lever and the pills drop out into their hand. There is also a handy “last dose taken” indicator to make it easy to keep tabs on what has been taken and what has not.

    Cost: $79.95, one time cost, currently on sale for $39.95.

    Whether you need monitoring, independence both in and away from home, or a simpler solution for medication dispensing, there should be something on this list to suit you. Investing in an automated medication dispensing system means peace of mind for seniors and caregivers, and much less risk of medication mistakes and hospital visits as a result.

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