How do you remember to take your maintenance medications? Try as I might to minimize the prescriptions I have to take, the number of daily pills increases. I currently organize my meds with a plastic box with four compartments for each day of the week plus a 3×5 index card to note the time I take each medication. That system works for me, mostly. Apparently I’m not the only one who needs a reminder system. When Apple introduced WatchOS 9 for the Apple Watch earlier this week, a Medications app headlined the new features list.
Apple designed the Medications app to help users manage their medications. According to Apple’s news release, the app helps Apple Watch wearers “to conveniently and discreetly manage, understand, and track medications.” The app works in conjunction with the Apple Watch and iPhone. Users enter their medications, vitamins, and supplements in the smartphone app, where they can also review relevant information in the Health app. Users set up schedules and reminders for each item in their Medications app list on the smartphone. The user can see reminders and check their medication schedule quickly and easily with the Apple Watch that is associated with the iPhone. Each medication can have a unique schedule. The app can also notify U.S. users about potential interactions for the meds, supplements, or vitamins. All user data on the Apple Watch is protected by a redesigned privacy layer. Users’ health data is backed up to iCloud in encrypted format. Users can unlock and access Apple Watch, iPhone, and iCloud data with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID. All health data is encrypted in transit and on Apple’s iCloud servers.
The new Watch0S 9 Medications app may convince me to leave the Android platform in favor of iOS. The Medications app is an excellent example of a practical but significant function that can make it easier to adhere to prescription schedules.