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Being able to effectively take your medication is an essential part of maintaining your health. But if there were a tool to make it easier, more adults might have more success in keeping a regular medication routine. This statement has been backed up by a recent study in which it was proven that older adults found it easier to take their medication when using a dispenser.
It is possible to use a pillbox, but this still comes with the issue of having to manage the medication. On the other hand, an automatic medication dispenser remembers for you and dispenses the right amount, at the right time, leaving you to focus on other things.
It has been demonstrated that as many as 140,000 deaths that result from non-adherence of medication, could be avoided annually and a dispenser is a viable way of doing this.
For seniors, it can be challenging to remember to take medication on time but with an automatic dispenser, you never need to worry. The machine will dispense the medication when it is due and the more sophisticated systems, like the Hero will even send a notification to let you know that it is time to take your medication.
This alone may mean that elderly adults can remain independent in their own homes for much longer. The medication will be safely stored inside the dispenser so that there is no risk of overdosing or anybody getting their hands on the pills that shouldn’t, such as visiting grandchildren.
While there are many automatic medication dispensers on the market, we believe that the Hero dispenser has everything you would expect, providing you with a viable medication management solution.
Hero Medication Dispenser Pricing
One of the first things that anyone wants to know when choosing a medication dispenser is how much it is going to cost. It is important to keep in mind that, as well as an upfront fee, you will need to enter into a minimum 12-month agreement which includes a monthly fee. However, one of the biggest benefits of the company is that users can take advantage of a 30-day trial to ensure that the product is right for them. The trial is entirely risk-free, and you will receive a full refund if you cancel within the trial period.
The initial subscription fee is $99.99, and after this, you will need to pay a further $29.99 per month. While this is another bill to factor into your monthly outgoings, there is a lot included in the membership that makes this something of an attractive price, especially when compared to other automatic medication dispensers currently on the market (as shown in the below table).
Hero Pill Dispenser
MedaCube Pill Dispenser
Philips Lifeline Medication Dispenser
$99 installation fee (optional)
Livi PharmRight Automatic Pill Dispenser
$130 (shipping & setup fee)
The price you pay for the Hero medication dispenser provides you with continued use of the equipment as well as a subscription to the accompanying cellphone app. The app delivers several types of notifications including missed medication alerts and refill reminders. Your caregivers also have access and can set up an account to help you manage your medication.
In addition, you will also benefit from 24/7 telephone support, should you encounter any issues.
What is the Pill Capacity of the Automatic Dispenser?
One of the most outstanding features of the Hero dispenser is that it has a very generous capacity. The device is capable of holding up to 90 days’ worth of pills and has the capacity to manage as many as 10 medications per day. What’s great is that the device is able to hold any size or shape of pill, so you aren’t limited in this respect.
Hero Dispenser Specs
Up to 90 days
Max Daily Dose
Up to 10 per day
Audio, visual, phone notifications
Missed doses, refill reminders
key & pin code
However, it is unable to contain certain types of medication, such as liquids or those that need to be kept refrigerated. That said, there is space on the app to manage further medications so you can still keep track of them. There is a limit of an additional 10 medications, meaning that, on each Hero subscription, you can manage up to 20 medications. If you need to take more than this, you would need to sign up for a second subscription.
Is it Easy to Set-Up?
The beauty of the Hero medication dispenser is that it is not complicated to get started. Whether you or a loved one will be doing the initial setup, the process is easy to grasp.
Upon plugging the Hero device in, a display screen will light up. There is a center button with arrow control which allows you easy control over what is shown on the screen and to make selections. There will be a short tutorial that allows users to familiarize themselves with the use of the machine. You will also need to connect the Hero to your wi-fi using the on-screen instructions.
Once you have completed the initial setup, you will be instructed by your device to continue setting up using the app. There is an option for a caregiver or family member to do this for you using their account. Hero has been designed with easy setup up in mind.
You can connect the Hero device to your app using a unique code, after which, you will be prompted to enter your details or those of a loved one. You will then need to enter details about your medication, including frequency, strength, and whether you will store the medication in the Hero dispenser. From here, it is possible to set up a medication schedule.
Using the app is clear and user-friendly, meaning that anyone, even those without previous technology experience will find it simple.
How Does the Refilling Process Work?
One of the biggest advantages of the Hero medication dispenser is that it comes with a refill reminder alert. This means that, long before your medication runs out, the app will alert you to restock. This will allow you to obtain more medication, and once the Hero cartridge is empty, the device will take you through the refilling process for continued ease of use.
You will first need to select the refill option on the Hero device and choose which medication you would like to refill. There is also an option to update the number of pills in the device. If there are any pills remaining in the device from the last refill, be sure to remove these before adding the new pills to the cartridge. You can then put the old pills on top so that they are used first.
You can then return the cartridge to the Hero device, making sure that you hear a click before closing the door and updating the expiration date, should you require. Your Hero is then ready to be used again.
How Does the Hero Dispense Medication?
One of the main concerns of new Hero users is whether they can dispense a missed or future dose. The good news is that the device can be used this way, but it does require you to go through a short manual process.
To begin, you will need to select the dispense option from the menu on Hero. There will be an option to select ‘future dose’, go ahead and do this. You can choose the appropriate dose and press confirm, allowing the device to dispense for you. In addition, you will still receive an alert from the app when it is time to take the dose.
There is also an option to dispense additional doses by selecting the ‘medication’ option after choosing ‘dispense’ from the main menu. The process is very much the same, and the user only needs to select which type of medication they would like to dispense and the quantity.
Finally, this process also applies to missed doses, and in this case, you would need to select ‘skipped doses’ and follow the same steps as above.
What Safety Features Does it Provide?
Taking medication is something that a lot of people take for granted but in reality, it is a serious and sometimes dangerous thing. This is especially true when it is not done in the correct manner and your medication may prove to do more harm than good.
However, Hero has you covered and boasts several features to ensure the safe use of medication, which linclude:
- Hero is listed and regulated by the FDA.
- If you are traveling, Hero features a vacation mode that allows you to dispense future doses and still receive app alerts when it is time to take them, so you never miss a dose.
- Hero features a safety lock to prevent unwanted access to your pills. In the event of a power outage, there is a safety key that can be used to access your medication.
- Should the power be disconnected, there is no need to set Hero up again when reconnected, provided that the wi-fi connection is stable.
- Hero uses a variety of notifications to alert you to take your medication including, app alerts, lights, and sounds.
- When your medication is running low, Hero will send you a refill alert.
Does it Alert a Caregiver About Missed Doses?
For some people, using Hero may be confusing if there are cognitive issues. However, one of the most outstanding features of the device is that it allows caregivers control so that medication is never missed.
As a caregiver with access to the Hero device, you will be able to set up notifications in one of three ways; through your Hero app, via text message, or via a phone call. In addition, caregivers can manage more than one Hero on their account.
The Hero medication dispenser operates using a wireless connection. This means that you will have to connect it to your wi-fi. This is essential for the device to be able to communicate with the Hero app and send notifications about missed doses, schedules, and more.
To operate Hero, you will need to be in front of the main device for most things. This includes the initial setup as well as making changes to any medications. However, there is the option to alter schedules remotely using the compatible app.
Warranty & Cancelations
One of the great things about the Hero medication dispenser is that it comes with a 30-day risk-free trial. If you decide that the product is not right for you, you can cancel within the trial period and receive a full refund. You’ll need to remove your medication and return the device using the shipping label provided with your order.
If you cancel your membership after the trial period, you will need to pay off the remainder of your contract, which runs on an annual basis. For example, if your contract runs from January to January and you cancel in October, you would need to make the November and December payments at the time of your cancelation.
As part of your membership, you will also receive a limited warranty that covers faulty workmanship or issues with the product. You can call the 24/7 support line for assistance, and Hero will repair or replace parts or the whole product, when necessary.
Hero Medication Dispenser Pros
The Hero automatic medication dispenser is a fantastic device that removes the worry of having to remember to take your medication. Considering that the monthly membership fee is just $29.99, it isn’t going to break the bank. We think that this is excellent value for money, especially when you consider all of the features you get as well as being able to create caregiver accounts to further remove the hassle from yourself.
What’s great is that Hero has been designed with a range of users in mind. If you have visual impairments, for example, you can be alerted through sound, meaning you won’t forget your pills, regardless. However, you should keep in mind that you may need assistance with the initial setup.
For those with dexterity issues, Hero doesn’t have any fiddly controls and can be easily operated. Moreover, the simple process means that people with cognitive difficulties should not have a problem getting to grips with its operation. The only exception here is that the user must be able to verify that the medication has been correctly dispensed.
Hero Medication Dispenser Cons
While the Hero medication dispenser has many good points, there are a few downsides that you should consider before deciding whether it’s right for you.
The Hero alerts are designed to be loud, however, the company does state that those with severe hearing impairments may not be able to hear them. Without this guarantee, it is impossible to say whether any given individual with a hearing impairment would be able to effectively use the device.
Moreover, you should consider that the Hero device does not come with a backup battery which is something that competing products benefit from.
Since as many as 50% of Americans forget to take their medication on a regular basis, it seems viable that an automated dispenser that sends reminders is worth considering. The Hero medication dispenser is an affordable solution that has been shown to improve medication adherence.
For older adults, this is particularly important and can give both them and their caregivers the peace of mind that doses won’t be missed. With an array of features that make taking medication much easier, many of your worries will be taken away.
It is important to keep in mind that Hero may not be suitable for all users, but for the majority of people, it will provide many benefits.