“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.”
When I was offered the chance to have a PillDrill system sent to me to review, I had high hopes. Like many of you with a chronic illness or two, I take a lot of medications. Some are morning only, some have to be taken at night, and others are taken weekly or throughout the day as needed. I found myself jotting pain medications or antibiotics on post-it notes around the house. I tried to remember the last time I took a pain med by seeing if I happened to tweet about my pain earlier. There were days I’d start feeling strange at work and didn’t realize until I got home that night, that I hadn’t taken my morning medications.
In short, my system wasn’t working. All of that time and energy I spent trying to remember my prescriptions and jot down how I was feeling that day (to share at future doctor’s appointments) could have been spent on much better things.
Enter the PillDrill.
First thoughts? Wow, beautiful packaging and wow, that’s a lot of stuff. I dove right in. I took the box up to my bed, unpacked it, and grabbed all of my medications.
In the photo above you’ll see: the main hub, power cord, mood cube, pill strips, and various tags for your medications. Depending on how you currently manage your meds, is how you’ll decide to set up the system for you.
I was using a weekly night and day pill case and a dresser drawer filled with my various injections, pain medications (patches and pills), etc. Pictured is my weekly case next to my new PillDrill case. Set up was pretty easy for me. I downloaded the PillDrill app (iPhone) and connected the hub to my home wifi. I then simply moved my pills from my old case to their new home. The images show how many pills I take and how they fit in the PillDrill containers (as they look smaller than they are).
I managed other medications by using the stick on labels and tags, depending on the packaging. For example, my pain patches get changed weekly and come in a box. I used the rubber band tags to wrap one around the entire box. For my pain pills, I stuck a label on the pill cap- that way when I refilled my meds, I could switch out the cap to the new bottle and not have to relabel.
So how does it work?
Each little pill container, label, and side of the mood cube, gets held over the hub for a second and the hub automatically recognizes and records what you took. It’s then loaded into the app.
I’ve added things to my “Med cabinet” on the app, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, without putting a scan tag on them. When I take pills like these, I click on them in the app and later I can look back and see if it’s time for a new dose.
So this is great but how does it help you remember to take your meds?
When you set up your medications, you decide the window of time to take them (such as 8-10am for the morning). You can set your phone to alert you (or even someone else) if you miss the window. The hub itself will also notify you- it flashes brightly until you scan your med, mark it complete in the app, or touch the screen to silence it. I have been on my way out the door for work and noticed the flashing light!
I haven’t missed my medications a single time. That in itself is awesome. I ended up getting a sinus infection during my trial of this and it was so helpful to be able note when I took my antibiotics and decongestants among all of my other medications.
The app is incredibly useful. At a glance, I can see how I’ve been feeling in correlation to how many times I’ve had to take pain medications for example. I can see that I’ve actually been nauseous more than usual, due to the increase of Zofran dosages. I have a great tool at my fingertips to share at doctors appointments.
I can document how I feel at any time. I can note how I feel quickly and whenever I want. Other apps remind you to check in on how you’re feeling- sometimes I’ve been doing just fine and one of those apps will cause me to notice pain that wasn’t really bothering me before. I can either scan the mood cube or simply click within the app. No follow-up questions, no pain scales- simple and effective.
It’s great for travel too! I few weekends ago, I had a wedding out of town. Instead of packing each day’s pills into small ziploc bags or hoping that my pill case didn’t open up in my carry-on, I simply brought my PillDrill strip. I moved a few day and night containers into one strip, flipped up the attached rubber band and viola! my pills were held down in place. They stayed put through TSA, stashing my bag on the flight, and unpacking. I didn’t have a single issue.
Want to learn more and purchase a PillDrill system of your own? Click here!