1. Perry, William MA, RN

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I'm pretty forgetful when it comes to medication compliance. As one of the "baby boomer" generation, I see many of my contemporaries finding themselves with a variety of pills to maintain their health and well being. Some share my "can't-remember syndrome," others seem to use a variety of devices and approaches to take the right drug at the right time.


There are several approaches using computer technology to improving compliance. Several medication containers are being marketed with an assortment of buzzers and speakers to remind the user that medications are due. A variety of such devices, from vibrating watches, pagers and other timers, are available at sites such as e-pill (


If you are a PDA user, there's a variety of freeware/shareware and commercial appointment software packages that could be useful as medication reminders. On-Time Rx ( and Pocket Rx ( are examples of this approach. Pocket Rx includes a personal health record option in addition to its reminder capabilities.


E-mail provides another avenue for reminder services. Memo to Me ( will send automated messages to your mailbox. There are a variety of applications that synchronize with Microsoft Outlook to achieve the same goal.


Cell phones are ubiquitous these days and there are several companies that will send either a text message or call your cell phone with a reminder. Although fewer people carry pagers than cell phones, PageMinder ( will send a message to either device. IPing ( offers several reminder type services including forwarding e-mail messages to your phone. The forwarded e-mails are electronically read to you. These are fee-based services in the $10 to $20 per month range.


There are a growing number of technology using individuals who will be taking multiple medications to maintain health. I found few references in CINAHL to technology-assisted medication compliance so this seems to be an area where research would be worthwhile. Although technology-mediated approaches to medication compliance seem to be proliferating, it is still up to the individual to actually take the medications. Now if only there was a technology-mediated way to help me remember to put the pill bottle in my briefcase.


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William Perry, MA, RN