After hours assessing and evaluating a number of Automatic Pill Dispensers, we have come to find that the LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser is the best for most people that we tested. We like its easy set-up, safety lock, and 28 compartments that can accommodate up to 18 pills. It allows for up to six alarms for up to 30 minutes per day. It just makes life easier so you don't miss any necessary pills you need to take to stay healthy!
Health is wealth. This is one of the most used up cliches that ever existed but still holds true. Aside from healthy eating and regular exercise, taking your medications is vital for regulating chronic conditions, healing temporary conditions, and overall long-term health and well-being.
However, humans as we are, medication adherence can be a bit of hard work (especially as we get older). Maybe it's because of the hectic schedule or procrastination --- one missed pill can be the difference between life and death.
But worry no more! An Automatic Pill Dispenser is your way out of this dilemma. It is a practical device that helps you in taking your medication diligently. The alarm system of an Automatic Pill Dispenser alleviates the top reason why we miss (or even mix up) our prescriptions in the first place: forgetfulness, confusion, and busyness.
You may now have thought of yourself, family, or significant others on the benefits of having an Automatic Pill Dispenser yet bombarded with all the information you see on the internet.
We narrowed down Top 5 Automatic Pill Dispenser based on their functionality and ease of use.
Let us take a closer look at our picks of medicine dispenser!
How Do Automatic Pill Dispensers Work?
An automatic pill dispenser is a device that helps organize medications in advance and dispense it at the programmed time/s.
You will load your pills on the compartments according to its capacity and then set up an alarm. The dispenser uses an alarm system that will notify you of the time to take your medication. You can program the alarm according to the times you will take your medications.
Once you’ve finished setting it up, the pill dispenser will sound on the time you set. It will then rotate the pills into position. This will secure those pills that won’t be taken at that time. It will only allow you to access the right dose at the right time.
To take it out, you will have to lift the device upside down and allow the pills to fall into your hand.
Things to Regard in Choosing the Best Automatic Pill Dispenser
Automatic pill dispensers play an important role in helping elderly or vulnerable patients to remember their medication. Aside from making them self-reliant at home for longer, it also betters their quality of life.
manufacturers of automatic pill dispenser offer a variety of attributes that make their product stand-out. While this may be a good thing, determining which one has more enhanced functionality and proven reliability is a bit tricky.
So before you hit the “Move to Cart” and “Check out Item” button, below are the must-have component that you need to consider in buying an automatic pill dispenser.
1. Alarm System
As we have mentioned, taking medications should be done at the right time. So the alarm system is the most important component to look into when choosing an automatic pill dispenser. It keeps you in check of diligently following your prescriptions.
Most automatic pill dispenser has either auditory and/or visual flash alert system. A loud, buzzing tone comes with different variations which the user can customize to continue for up to 60 minutes until the pill is dispensed. The flashing light also goes hand-in-hand with the sound alert.
Whichever is preferable to the user, the most important tip here is you customize it in such a way that it catches your attention the most.
2. Lock/Security System
There have been several reported cases that patients have overdosed because they couldn't remember if they already took their pill, and this is obviously a situation that needs to be avoided.
An automatic pill dispenser’s lock and security system help prevent this from happening. All other drugs are safely secured and only dispenses the correct dose at the correct time. Other automatic pill dispensers even upgraded their device such that a notification will be sent to a remote caregiver should there be an attempt of tampering the unit.
3. Storage and Compartments
An automatic pill dispenser takes away that extra task of having to organize our pills every time we have to take them. We just want to put our medications in and have it served to us on time.
Which is why it is necessary for an automatic pill dispenser to have good storage and compartments. You don’t necessarily have to arrange your medications everyday just because the device can’t fit what you need for one day. It has to be able to hold up a good number of pills that would last you days or even a month before you have to refill again.
One reason why we want an automatic pill dispenser is that it rids us of forgetting about our medications. You can go about your day without worrying whether you have taken the pills or not. And a good one with a nice storage could serve you pretty well.
How We Assessed & Evaluated The Products
We have looked through and considered a number of automatic pill dispensers that we can get our hands on. And it has come to the point where we hand-picked some of the best ones we can find and narrowed them down.
As you may have already known, there are a number of automatic pill dispenser manufacturers out there. With the demand (and necessity) of such device for our seniors and others in need. These manufacturers have their own take and features that just made the whole assessment and evaluation process even more challenging to do.
We take part in this review process to simplify the whole search with this product review article.
To arrive at our results, we have established a criteria that lists the important features for buyers.
We also never failed to gather some important inputs from other reliable users and review websites that show their own take and perspectives of the different automatic pill dispensers around. Such of these are forums for people who need it: forum.alzheimers.org. As well as other reliable websites like thewirecutter.com.
Some of the features in the criteria involved:
- Security Features
- Alarm Features
- Storage Capacity
Once we set this up, we gathered all products that match well with what we think people are looking for based on the criteria. We then scored each automatic pill dispenser that came into our view and eliminated those that didn’t make the cut. We did this until we are left with the 5 best ones.
All in all, the entire assessment and evaluation process aims to look for quality, usability, durability, and functionality. This will better serve the purpose of providing you with a good and unbiased product review of the best automatic pill dispensers.
Our Top Picks
The LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser is a great solution against missed and mixed up drug dose through its customizable features.
First - its timer and alert system.
The pill dispenser buzzes loudly and illuminates a blinking red light which makes it more effective and ideal for hard-of-hearing seniors or even busy bees. It's hard to ignore, especially since the alarm can go on for up to 30 minutes until after dispensing. Moreover, caregivers and even patients themselves can easily set-up the device by means of its LCD interface from the clock, program alerts, volume variation, and other additional settings to suit their preferences.
Next feature of this pill reminder that we loved is the convenient compartments and secure access. It has 28 spacious slots, and each can keep to a maximum of 18 aspirin-sized pills until they are releases as scheduled. You can smoothly tailor your drug administration with one of six (6) rotating templates for 1-6 daily doses. Also, the pill dispenser lessens the need for constant refills. Depending on your daily medication, you can have once every 4 days or once in 28 days.
The last feature that we loved about this pill dispenser is its security functionality. The built-in safety lock gives additional safety for patients, particularly those with Alzheimer’s or those with a history of overdose. It only dispenses pills that have been scheduled for release at that time and nothing more.
On the other hand, there were some negatives we found. For one, some of the models have a solid white lid which makes it so you can't see the timer or what's inside of the pill dispenser. This is still possible, but you have to unlock and open the lid which is a bit of an inconvenience
Also, setting up the clock might come with ease, but some users complained the alarm/pill dispensing time wasn't as easy. The electronic part of it would never switch from clock function to alarm function.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
When we got our hands on the e-pill MedSmart Plus, the first thing that immediately interested us was its monitoring functionality. This automatic pill dispenser allows you to receive real-time notifications (via phone call, SMS, or email) when a pill is missed. They can even be sent to a relative or caregiver that isn't there to supervise at all times.
So if you’re not sure about the alerts and alarms of other products, you can expect a reminder after 60 minutes. And the best part is there’s no additional monthly fee for this feature!
In terms of compartment size, this automatic pill dispenser comes with two medication trays with 29 slots each. It can load up to 20 aspirin-sized tablets and can also fit vitamins and capsules. You can also set up to 6 pre-programmed alarms per day.
We have seen some complaints/issues that others have raised. For one, it is the most expensive item on our list at almost $800 at the time of this posting (hence the upgrade tag). There are also reports of some older patients complaining that it is too heavy for them to lift/move. It's also not battery powered like others on the list, so it needs to be placed near a phone line or electrical outlet.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
Another great product we tested was the MedElert Locking Automatic Pill Dispenser. It's the least expensive item on this list ($70 at time of writing) and comes with a lot of the necessary features for a basic automatic pill dispenser.
For starters, it comes with 28 compartments that can hold up to 18 pills each. You are able to set up to six daily alarms (both sound and flashing light) and like with some other products tested, the settings are retained even after you have to change the batteries.
The MedElert also comes with interchangeable lids. So you can use the clear lid to see inside and figure out how many pills are left before refilling. You can also use the solid lid for enhanced privacy and security so your pill regiment isn't out in the open for your guests to see.
And one of the most important aspects we discovered when testing is how easy it is to set-up. There are only three buttons so you don't have to get confused with all the bells and whistles that other products have.
But, like the other products we've tested, there are some issues that have been reported. One complaint that we've read about is with durability issues. We saw several older reports stating that the product easily broke, but this issue is covered by the company's warranty policy.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
The e-Pill MedTime XL is our choice if you're looking for an upgrade but the top option isn't available (or is too expensive). This automatic pill dispenser is best suited for users who have a complex medication regiment. Unlike the two preceding devices, the e-Pill MedTime XL contains two medication trays.
Another useful feature that isn't available on some of the other pill dispensers is that it has an early dose feature. This allows the users to access their medication 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time, making it possible for the patient to take their pills if they will be away from their home at the next reminder.
The alarm system includes a loud sound, with 4 selectable tones to choose from, and flashing lights that go off for 60 minutes or until dispensed. This makes the pill reminder impossible to ignore. In addition, you may set up to 28 alarms per day. And to top that, program settings are stored even if you change batteries.
On the other side, we found out that the security system is not the highest quality. There were several reports from users easily opening the lock without the key. This kind of automatic pill dispenser is somewhat pricey too (almost $400 at time of posting).
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
The GMS Automatic Pill Dispenser is the last item on our list, but it's still a very comparable product to our top choice, the LiveFine. It comes with interchangeable clear and solid lids according to your preferences, 28 compartments which can hold up to 18 pills (just like the LiveFine), and up to six daily alarms (again, just like the LiveFine).
Its alarm is also louder than some of the other products we tested and comes with blinking light for the hearing impaired. For that added security, this updated dispenser comes with a new barrel key.
One feature that we really liked about the GMS Automatic Pill Dispenser is that the programming is retained in memory even when the batteries are removed to be replaced. So we didn’t feel the need of repeating the entire set-up again once the batteries have run out.
The downside of the GMS Pill Dispenser, however, is that it's not waterproof. Caregivers and users should be careful not to spill water as it may leak and ruin pills.
There is also a possibility that patients could double dose. The dispenser does not take back those pills that were forgotten. So by the time the next medications are due, there would still be those pills that were left behind.
What We Liked
What We Didn't Like
Editor’s Pick: LiveFine Automatic Pill Dispenser
After narrowing down to five available automatic pill dispensers, we've decided the LiveFine Auto Pill Dispenser is the best for most people. It's not quite as nice as some of the other reviewed products, but it works well nonetheless. Not everyone needs all the bells and whistles that the more expensive products provide, they just want to make sure they don't forget their pills. And the LiveFine, at $80 (at the time of writing) works well enough at the price point.
Upgrade Pick: e-Pill MedSmart Plus
If you need more functionality out of your pill dispenser, the e-pill MedSmart Plus is the way to go. It has certain enhancement features that made the product stand-out. This includes the following:
- 2 Medication Trays with 29 compartments each and can hold up to 20 aspirin-sized tablets, vitamins, and capsules
- The alert system can go up to 90 minutes
- Notification is sent to remote caregivers in case the patient hasn’t dispensed scheduled pills after 60-minutes
- No monthly fees!
These three are good runner up’s in case you are looking for an alternative or the top choice's aren't available. They all have things we liked and didn't like, so make sure you choose based on your needs.