It is not an unfamiliar scene today to be caring for your kids as well as your parents. As Baby Boomers age the demands increase and they often find themselves double-parenting.
At some point in the process of caring for your parents you will have to make sure that they are taking their medications. It's all part of the drill and it can be exhausting especially if they don't live with you.
Of course, it's not just your parents. The number of Americans affected by at least one chronic condition requiring medication therapy is expected to grow from 133 million to 157 million by 2020.
That's a lot of people, and already nearly three out of four Americans report that they do not always take their medication as directed, a problem that causes more than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations, nearly 125,000 deaths in the United States each year, and adds $290 billion in avoidable costs to the health care system annually.
A new product trying to find its way to market may be a partial answer to the problem. The Amiko is sort of a Fitbit for medicine packs. It fits around your medicine (starting with inhalers), measures how you are taking the meds, when you are taking them and if you need more – and it sends the info to your phone (or to your caregivers' phone). It provides instant feedback and eliminates errors. There is no additional self-reporting or other activities required. (Self reporting is usually the downfall of people who have to take medicine on a daily basis.)
If your parent is a little "old school" and a smartphone is just not for them there is something called the Amiko Hub. It will let them remind them when it's time for their medication and will also alert them if they get a message from you or one of their caregivers, pharmacists or physicians.
As of now it is in the funding stages but the projected goal is to have a release by March 2015.