Medication reminders on iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Medication reminders on iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

How to set up medication reminders on iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

If you take one or more medications every day, you know how important is to take them on the prescribed schedule. Medication non-adherence — not taking medications as prescribed — is a problem that can have some serious repercussions. And research suggests that up to 50% of patients do not take their medications as prescribed.

Even knowing how important it is, medication is easy to forget when life gets busy. Fortunately there are tools that can help. PillSmart from Mednow, for example, packs medications in daily dose packs that are easy to take and hard to forget. Paired with digital tools like medication reminders on your phone, it's even easier to stay on track with daily meds. 

Medication reminders on iPhone and iPad

Medication reminders are a new feature in iOS 16 that can not only remind you to take medications as prescribed but also track medication adherence over time. If you have an Apple Watch, you'll be pleased to know that medication reminders are also a new feature in watchOS 9 too.

Medication reminders are another reason to upgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS 16 if you haven't already. 

The concept of medication reminders on your phone isn't new; reminders can be set up manually and there are a number of apps to remind and track medication adherence. However, iOS 16 marks the first time such a feature is available natively on a smartphone operating system. This is important because personal health information (PHI) like prescriptions is sensitive and private; not the kind of information you want to trust to just anyone.

You'll find medication reminders in the Health app without additional downloads and medication reminders on iPhone and iPad are easy to set up. We'll walk you through it below.


Can my iPhone or iPad get iOS 16 and medication reminders?

If you bought your iPhone or iPad new in the past few years, yes. Read on for specifics.

Medication reminders on iPhone

iPhone 8 and all newer models, including the second generation or newer iPhone SE, are eligible for the new operating system. 


Medication reminders on iPad

iOS 16 is also available for iPads. Every iPad Pro model gets the upgrade, as do third generation or newer iPad Air models. If you have a regular iPad or iPad Mini, you need a fifth generation or newer model to install the latest OS.

Medication reminders on Apple Watch

If you have an Apple Watch

Series 4 or newer, you can get watchOS 9 and with it, the new medication reminders feature.


How to set up medication reminders on iPhone and iPad

First, add a medication to your profile in the Health app.

  1. Open the Health app
  2. Tap the Browse tab in the lower right
  3. Tap the Medications menu item
  4. Tap Add Medication

 You can enter the medication information or just take a picture of the prescription label.

Add your dosage info and when you're supposed to take the medication:

Choose At Regular Intervals for medications you take daily or multiple times per day

Choose On Specific Days of the Week for pills you do not take every day.

Select the time you're supposed to take the medication

Repeat these steps for all your medications.

Adding the date you started taking the medication is helpful for monitoring your medications over time. 

You can add more information about pill shape, colour and other variables if you so choose. 

With your medication profile and reminders set up on iPhone or iPad, you can send the alerts to an Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Watch app
  2. Select Notifications
  3. Check the box to allow Health app notifications


Why medication adherence matters

Medication non-adherence is a factor in as many as half of all treatment failures. Poor pill management leads to hundreds of heart disease-related deaths in Canada each year.

Furthermore, there are thousands of hospital admissions for people who either accidentally double-dose or forget to take their medications for asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic conditions. 

Taking prescribed medications as outlined by healthcare providers is the simplest thing an individual can do to improve medication efficacy. It stands to reason that anything we can do to track and remember medications is worth doing. 


Medication reminders and PillSmart

PillSmart pairs nicely with medication reminders. While PillSmart individual daily dose packs are easy to use and hard to forget on their own, medication reminders on iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch helps make taking medication routine. 

With the iOS 16 medication reminders and PillSmart together, you can create a system with redundancies that will make it hard to forget to take important daily medications... no matter how busy life gets. 

Learn more and see if PillSmart is right for you.

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