New video highlights how seniors can use technology to manage meds

A recent video contest run by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) aimed at showing how technology can help seniors manage their medication revealed its winners. Experts say the ideas could be easily implemented to help a greater number of older adults enjoy healthy aging. The Managing Meds Video Contest chose the film "Remind Me Again" as the recipient of the top prize, because it demonstrated how easy-to-use gadgets can help make senior living easier.

The short video, which runs just over one minute, highlights the fact that items such as smartphone apps, simple alarms and the internet can play key roles in medication management. For instance, programs such as iPharmacy can help distinguish between pills, while websites such as RememberItNow.com can help older adults keep track of their medication.

"The winning contest entries revealed that there are many technologies, particularly mobile apps, which help remind people to take their medications," said Erin Poetter of ONC's Office of Consumer eHealth. "Our hope is that people will watch these videos and be inspired to use technology to take their medications as prescribed to achieve better health."

Medication management may seem like a small component of senior living, but it makes a big difference in overall health, experts say. In fact, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, taking medication as directed can greatly improve the quality of life of people with heart disease or diabetes. Additionally, people who do not take their medication have between a 50 and 85 percent higher mortality rate.

Implementing technology to manage medication is especially useful given that seniors are more likely to adopt the latest advancements than previous generations. About 13 percent of people over 65 use smartphones and 19 percent use tablets, according to Pew Research.