A neat reminder service for taking your pills, and other medical needs

Having trouble remembering when to take your pills? Doctor’s appointments? When to get labs drawn? Other scheduled health tasks? There’s a free reminder service available to help with that and more.

It’s called “Oregon Reminders.” And, in spite of the name, anyone in the country (and probably others as well) can enroll. It literally takes only a minute to enroll.

The service was originally designed for HIV patients to help keep them on schedule with their meds, appointments, labs, etc., but it’s open for anyone to use.

oregon-reminderasFor example, you can schedule times when you need to take your pills, even if it’s several times per day. Once scheduled, Oregon Reminders will send you an email, text or phone message — your choice — at the time you selected.

You can do the same for doctor’s appointments, labs, imaging tests, etc.

I registered and told it to remind me to take my “pills” at a specific time. Exactly on time I got this email:

Hey! It’s that time. Take your pill(s). :)

That’s their generic reminder. You can have it say whatever you need to at the time. Something like, “Take your blood pressure pill.” or “Appointment with Dr. Jones, tomorrow at 1 PM.” The email did go to “Trash” before I even saw it, so you may have to adjust your email settings to make sure that they get to your inbox.

Also, text and phone charges may apply, so check into that first before you decide that you want to use the telephony part of the service.

The system doesn’t ask for your name. Just your age and a phone number (if you want text or voice reminders), or an email address if you want email reminders. You can set up multiple reminders per day for medications, appointments, labs and imaging studies or whatever other reminders you may need.

It would also be useful for diabetics as a reminder to check blood glucoses and/or take medications including insulin. It also gives you the option to get free advice on health tips for HIV, general health or both.

The service might not sound very useful if you’re someone who doesn’t, for example, take much medication. But take the example of someone who has cataract surgery, and needs to take a variety of eye drops several times a day. You might remember the drops in the morning and before going to bed, but you might not remember to do it at 3pm in the middle of the workday.

For more information or to sign up, go here.

Thanks and a hat tip to Oregon for doing this and making it available to everyone!

Mark Thoma, MD, is a physician who did his residency in internal medicine. Mark has a long history of social activism, and was an early technogeek, and science junkie, after evolving through his nerd phase. Favorite quote: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science... is not 'Eureka!' (I found it!) but 'That's funny.'” - Isaac Asimov

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