Keeping on top of medications can be challenging for seniors and their caregivers. People with memory issues might struggle especially with sticking to an accurate medication schedule.
This is a source of worry for caregivers, too. We all want to know that our loved ones are taking their medications without skipping doses, or accidentally taking too many doses.
PharmAdva loaned The Senior List® a MedaCube automatic medication dispenser and paid for an unbiased review and hands-on test of the product. All opinions expressed here belong to the writer and reviewer of the product.
Rochester NY-based company PharmAdva have developed an easy-to-use solution that takes all the worry out of medication dispensing.
MedaCube is an automatic medication dispensing system designed to make taking medicine simple for seniors, and to provide peace of mind for caregivers.
There are many automatic pill dispensers on the market today, but PharmAdva has gone the extra mile. They poured years of research and testing into their product, including seven different prototype stages, and over 600 versions of the software.
Accurate Medication Management: The Results Are In
As part of their rigorous testing process, PharmAdva ran a clinical study at the St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Pharmacy. The results were striking: The percentage of patients adhering to the correct medication schedule rose from 48% to 97%.
To our knowledge, this is the only medication dispenser on the market that has been clinically proven to improve medication adherence.
We’re impressed by how easy MedaCube makes it to take medications on time. This could have a real impact on seniors who have difficulty with scheduling and precise dosing of their medications.
Having an accurate, reliable automatic medication dispenser means they can stay independent, without the need for a caregiver present to supervise every dose.
Let’s take a closer look at how it works.
MedaCube Makes Loading Medications Easy
One of the things we love about MedaCube is how easy it is to load. Many pill dispensers rely on the user or a caregiver pre-sorting pills and carefully arranging each dose.
With MedaCube, caregivers can simply pour up to 90 days’ worth of doses into the machine’s bins, and tell the machine how much to dispense, and when.
There’s even a setting for as-needed medications, so users can access those when they need them, with no danger of overdosing. This could be especially significant for people taking pain relievers (opioids) or other mental health-related medications.
Caregivers are able to set maximum doses per day on as needed medications and if the user continues to attempt to get additional medications, the caregiver can be set up to receive a notification.
If the medications come from a pharmacy that uses QR codes on their bottles, the process is even faster. Caregivers can use the built-in barcode scanner on MedaCube to scan the bottle, and the unit will automatically enter all medication and dosing information into the software, ready to be dispensed.
MedaCube can also issue reminders for other kinds of medication such as inhalers or insulin. Although it can’t store these kinds of medications, it can send an alert when it’s time to take them.
Safety Features Add Extra Reassurance
PharmAdva have put a lot of thought into how to provide extra safety and reassurance for seniors and their caregivers:
- Each MedaCube features a PIN feature that caregivers can use to prevent the user from accessing the meds once the doses are set – this is especially important for people with memory impairments, who might accidentally mess up the dosing schedule.
- MedaCube has a 24 hour backup battery in case of power outage.
- All medication bins are covered and sealed. The designated caregiver is the only one with access to medications.
- Tilt-aware software means the unit knows if it has been tilted or dropped, in which case it locks down dispensing and sends an alert to the caregiver.
- You can record a loved one’s voice to play at dose time and even have the MedaCube call the user to remind them to take their medications.
- There is no chance of taking multiple doses together ever
Alerts For Users And Caregivers
Another thing we love about MedaCube is its intuitive alerts. Users can choose to receive their alerts by text, email or phone:
- First, the system alerts 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.
- Caregivers also receive alerts if the machine loses power and switches to battery power, if it is dropped or tilted, or if it runs into any errors such as machine faults or lack of internet connection. In the case of the machine switching to battery power, caregivers are sent a second alert when normal power is restored.
- MedaCube also helps seniors and caregivers keep on top of refilling prescriptions by way of sending out alerts to caregivers several days before the supply of a medication is used up.
The alerts are one of our favorite things about MedaCube – caregivers can rest easy knowing they’ll be contacted at once if something is amiss.
What’s In The Box
Every order contains:
- A MedaCube device
- 8 regular and 4 large medication bins
- All the necessary software pre-installed
What Does It Cost?
There are three ways to purchase MedaCube:
- 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
In comparison to several other automatic medication dispensers we have looked at, MedaCube is competitively priced with the lease-to-own option.
We love how intuitive and easy to use MedaCube is. PharmAdva has made it incredibly easy for caregivers to load the machine and set it to dispense up to 90 days’ worth of meds. We also appreciate the addition of extra safety features and alerts that will help keep seniors and our loved ones safe.