Useful information

Advantages and disadvantages of medication organizer applications


Medication notebooks are used to record when, where, and what kind of medication was prescribed to you.
According to the “Public Opinion Survey on the Use of Pharmacies” conducted by the Cabinet Office, 70% of the respondents answered that they use it (*1), but on the other hand, do you ever forget to bring it with you?
There are times when you forget to bring your medication with you, and that’s when medication organizer apps (electronic medication organizers) come in handy.
In this article, we will introduce you to medication organizer apps.

Merits of the Medication Handbook App

The advantage of the medication organizer app is that it is hard to forget.
You can put the app on your smartphone that you always carry with you, which is convenient when you go to pick up prescription medication prescribed due to sudden illness or injury.
In fact, it was the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 that triggered the shift to electronic medication organizers.
Although the information in the diary was very useful when prescribing medicines to people with chronic diseases, many of the victims lost their paper diaries and did not know what medicines they were taking on a regular basis. However, most of them had their cell phones and smartphones with them even in the evacuation centers. This is why the development of an electronic version of the medication diary that can be managed with a smartphone was promoted.
In addition, the medication organizer app has some features that are possible only with an app instead of paper.
Share information for the whole family
Scheduler to prevent forgetting to take medication Register the day you are going to take your medication in the calendar. (You can also set an alarm.)
Send prescription images taken with your smartphone from the app to the pharmacy (to shorten waiting time at the pharmacy)
In addition to prescription medications, over-the-counter medications can be easily registered using barcodes.
Data backup function and data transfer Depending on the application, health information other than medication can also be managed.

Disadvantages of medication organizer apps

While there are advantages to apps, there are also advantages to paper.
First of all, it is easy to read. A paper medication organizer has the advantage of opening quickly and easily, to check your medication history.
For example, when sharing information with the doctor in the examination room, some doctors prefer to see a paper medication organizer rather than scrolling through a small smartphone.
The medication organizer app also has a “memo” function, but it is easier to write down small things on paper anywhere.
In addition, when you use the medication organizer app, you need to register your personal information such as name, date of birth, contact information, history of side effects, and history of allergies. These are items that can be found in the paper version of the medication
organizer, but compared to writing them in the organizer that you keep with you, some people may not be comfortable with registering them on the app.

Is the medication organizer app treated the same as a paper organizer?

By the way, did you know that in some cases, if you bring your medication booklet with you when you pick up your prescription medication at the pharmacy, you can get a little discount on your bill?
When you receive your medication at the pharmacy, the pharmacist will provide you with written and verbal information such as the name, dosage, efficacy, side effects, and interactions of the medication prescribed for that day based on the patient’s medication history.
There is a fee for this, called the “medication history management guidance fee,” but the fee is slightly lower for patients who have been to the clinic within three months of their last visit and have brought their medication handbook with them.
Specifically, if a patient comes to the same pharmacy with a prescription again within three months and brings his or her medication handbook, the fee is set at 43 points (430 yen); otherwise, the fee is set at 57 points (570 yen).
And it is the same for both the paper medication booklet and for the medication booklet app.
In other words, if an app-generated notebook meets certain conditions (if “Items to be noted in the operation of the Medication Record Book (electronic version)” meets “Items to be noted by operators in section three” (November 27, 2015, Yakusei Soukei Hatsu No. 1127,
No. 4)) in the medical regulation (*2)., it should be treated in the same manner as a paper notebook.
Most of the medication organizer apps are designed to meet these conditions.
So, if you are prone to forgetting your medication organizer, please think about using an app.
*1 Cabinet Office, “Public Opinion Survey on the Use of Pharmacies, 2020
*2 Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, “Matters Related to the Dispensing Fee Chart