Tips for a Wise Automatic Pill Dispenser Buyer
We searched for the best automatic pill dispensers by looking at a variety of factors, including cost, product features, warranties and consumer opinion. We chose Hero, LiveFine, GMS, e-Pill MedSmart Plus and MedaCube automatic pill dispensers to meet a range of patient needs. You will find detailed reviews in this guide and tips for choosing the best automatic pill dispenser. We also included answers to questions readers frequently ask while comparing products.
Managing multiple medications becomes difficult with doses prescribed for different times during the day. It gets easier to miss taking medicine on time, or worse, accidentally taking two doses too close together or the wrong dose. Automatic pill dispensers are an answer to this problem, especially for those who are aging in place. The technology in today’s pill dispenser automation makes getting the correct dose at the right time more reliable than ever.
Top Automatic Pill Dispenser Tips:
- Consider how easy it is to open and fill the pill dispenser
- Look for an automatic pill dispenser with ample compartments to fit all medications and vitamins
- Test the alerts from a different room than where you keep the dispenser to be sure you will notice the flashing lights or audible alarm
What to Know About Automatic Pill Dispensers
Chronic diseases are often a part of aging, and more people take prescribed medications today than in the past. Memory functioning with age may be slight to severely impaired. Automatic pill dispensers are an answer to the problem of patients forgetting to take their medications.
Automatic pill dispensers ensure people take the proper medication at the correct dose and time. These dispensers are more convenient than a pill box because you fill and program dosing for every 28 to 90 days. Automatic dispensers that drop pills into a cup can’t dispense pills cut for half doses, so keep this in mind when you narrow your choices.
Some dispensers come with tamperproof covers to prevent patients from accessing doses unless it’s time to take their medication.
How Do Automatic Pill Dispensers Work?
Automatic pill dispensers are battery-powered or run on electricity. Prefill the dispenser cups with medications and vitamins, then program the dispenser to rotate or drop the medicine into a cup or hopper at the time of day you need a dose. These devices use flashing lights and loud alarms to alert you when it’s time to take the medication. You can set up multiple dosing times each day.
How Automatic Pill Dispensers Help with Remembering Medications
Automatic pill dispensers use visual and audible alarms to get your attention when it’s time to take a dose of medicine. Some dispensers are small enough to take along with you outside of the home. Other devices are larger with more features, and are not portable.
Aside from the alarms, more high-tech models connect to Wi-Fi and send alerts via text or a mobile app to caregivers and loved ones. If the patient does not take the dose within 15 to 30 minutes or so of the alarm, someone gets notified. This person can follow up with the patient to ensure the medicine gets taken close to the originally-prescribed time. These devices may offer a monitoring service similar to a home security system where an agent contacts the patient regarding missed doses and other alerts.
Automatic Pill Dispenser Costs
Automatic pill dispensers aren’t inexpensive, but these devices can save a life. You will pay more for a pill dispenser that handles a more complicated dispensing schedule or has a higher pill capacity.
You can buy most automatic pill dispensers outright, but some come with a monthly fee. This payment option makes the cost more affordable or may cover a monitoring service that contacts caregivers if you forget to take your meds. One of our top picks combines an upfront cost with a monthly fee, and some companies rent out automatic pill dispensers or offer a lease-to-own deal.
The least you’ll likely spend for a quality basic automatic pill dispenser is from $75 to $99. High-tech models with more features handling more doses cost several hundred to nearly $2,000.
|Best Automatic Pill Dispensers Compared|
|Automatic Pill Dispenser||Max Daily Dose||Upfront Cost||Best For|
|Hero||10||$99.99*||Living alone with a connection to assistance|
|LiveFine 28-Day||6||$79.99||Basic dosing schedules|
|GMS Auto||6||$87.95||The hearing impaired|
|e-Pill MedSmart Plus||6||$789.95||Those who need consistent monitoring|
|MedaCube||16||$1,399||Those who combine regular and irregular doses.|
Our Search for the Best Automatic Pill Dispensers
1. We searched for an extensive list of 36 automatic pill dispensers
2. We evaluated the automatic pill dispensers based on our expert-guided buying criteria: cost, product features, warranties and consumer opinion
3. We provide the automatic pill dispensers that stood out to us for your consideration
Automatic Pill Dispenser Reviews
We selected the best automatic pill dispensers by reviewing a variety of factors, including cost, product features, warranties and consumer reviews. We chose Hero, LiveFine, GMS, e-Pill MedSmart Plus and MedaCube automatic pill dispensers as the top 5 automatic pill dispensers.
Hero Automatic Pill Dispenser Review
Best Mobile App |
Hero works by assigning a dosing schedule with the number of pills per dose to a cartridge. Multiple cartridges hold separate medications or supplements. If you take one fish oil, three magnesium and a blood pressure medication at 8 p.m., the five pills dispense at that time from separate cartridges.
Along with a flashing light and alarm, Hero pill dispensers send reminders to the patient or caregiver within 15 minutes of the dosing time via phone or mobile app. The dosing schedule is easy to set up using the Hero mobile app for Android or iPhone, or a web browser. The mobile app provides information about the pills the patient takes and analyzes the medications to alert to potentially dangerous conflicts.
Hero offers optional subscription services like automated prescription refills. This automatic pill dispenser weighs 10 pounds, ships free and includes a 30-day free trial. Hero costs $99 upfront and $29.99 per month with a one-year commitment. Proactive monitoring is $99.99 per month for a representative who contacts the patient and caregiver for missed doses, low pill count and other reasons.
To learn more about the product and review purchase options visit Hero’s Website.
LiveFine 28-Day Automatic Pill Dispenser Review
Best Battery Operated |
This LiveFine automatic pill dispenser model features 28 compartments, each holding up to 18 aspirin-sized pills. This device works using templates for dosing one to six times a day. The LiveFine dispenser resembles a large pill case with a battery-operated carousel that spins to provide a dose. Use the large LCD display with templates to program when medication gets dispensed.
Depending on the dose you need, you’ll need to refill the LiveFine dispenser every four to 28 days. A red blinking light flashes at the time of dosage with an optional loud buzzer. You can use the flashing light alone, or choose from four tones for varying levels of hearing loss. The buzzer sounds for 30 minutes if the patient doesn’t take their medication immediately.
LiveFine’s Automatic 28-Day Pill Dispenser has a locking lid with a key to prevent dementia patients from accessing medications before they need to take them. This dispenser weighs about a pound and requires four AA batteries and retails for $79.99.
To find out more about the product and available purchase options visit LiveFine Website.
GMS Automatic Pill Dispenser Smart Device Edition Review
Best Customer Support |
This automatic pill dispenser is equipped with Bluetooth to alert you via the LeBox mobile app when a dose is ready. You must be within 35 feet of the GMS Automatic Pill Dispenser Smart Device to receive alerts. The unit can also sound an alarm and flash lights when it’s time to take a dose.
The medication dosing schedule is set using one of six templates or the LeBox app for Android and iOS. The GMS Automatic Pill Dispenser Smart Device holds 28 doses. Pairing the dispenser and mobile app is simple. Use the app to scan a QR code on the bottom of the pill dispenser and Bluetooth pairing complete. LeBox tracks dosage compliance, too.
The GMS Automatic Pill Dispenser Smart Device runs on electricity and has a battery backup. The cover locks with a key, and the dosing compartment tray removes entirely from the unit for cleaning and filling. The dispenser weighs about 2 pounds and costs $87.95.
To learn more about the GMS Bluetooth Pill Dispenser and review purchase options visit GMS’s Website.
e-Pill MedSmart Plus Review
Best Monitoring Service |
The price tag on the e-Pill MedSmart Plus is steep but includes free monitoring for the life of the automatic pill dispenser. This device gets connected to a landline in the patient’s home and provides notifications and reports to the family or caregiver. e-Pill MedSmart Plus sounds an alarm and flashes lights when a medication dose is ready. The alarm continues until the patient picks up the dispenser to retrieve the dose.
Caregivers or loved ones can access the patient’s adherence to their dosing schedule online. This information is secured, and only authorized individuals can log in to see it. Unlike other automatic pill dispensers, the e-Pill MedSmart Plus allows multiple people to look after the person taking the medications. Alerts send via text, phone call or email.
MedSmart Plus features the Early Dose button for taking medication immediately and not waiting for the reminder alarm. This feature is useful when the patient needs to take a dose a bit early because they are leaving their home. The dispenser runs on AC power with battery backup, weighs a bit over 4 pounds and costs $789.95
To learn more about the e-Pill Medsmart Automatic Pill Dispenser and review purchase options visit e-Pill Medsmart’s Website.
Best for Complicated Schedules |
MedaCube is the only automatic pill dispenser that is clinically-proven to increase on-time medication dosage from the average 48% to 97%. This Wi-Fi-enabled dispenser comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty and 16-medication capacity. If a medication changes, it takes two minutes to swap out the old meds for the new ones.
MedaCube is one of the largest automatic pill dispensers available, dispensing up to 90 days of doses. Set the dosage from once a week to up to six times per day per medication. The device not only alerts the patient to take their medication, but custom alarms can also be set for those who take medicine by injection or need to do physical therapy exercises at specific times.
Aside from custom audio alarms, MedaCube can send text, email or phone alerts to a family member or caregiver if the patient misses a dose. Load up to a 90-day supply of each medication into a separate bin, then set the schedule for each one. Medications scheduled for the same time drop into a hopper together. MedaCube is tamperproof, weighs in at 15-½ pounds and costs $1,399.
To learn more about MedaCube and review purchase options visit MedaCube’s Website.
Frequently Asked Questions About Automatic Pill Dispensers
Does Medicare pay for automatic pill dispensers?
Medicare does not pay for automatic pill dispensers. Depending on the state you live in, Medicaid may cover the cost if you qualify for this program. If you are a veteran, contact your Veterans Affairs office to find out if your benefits pay for an automatic pill dispenser.
Can I use a Health Savings Account or Flexible Savings Account to pay for an automatic pill dispenser?
Yes, your HSA or FSA can reimburse you for the cost of an automatic pill dispenser. Check with your savings program before investing in an automatic pill dispenser because rules governing these savings accounts change from time to time.
I found the perfect automatic pill dispenser, but it doesn’t have enough dosing cups. Now what?
Check with the manufacturer to see if you can buy additional dosing cups. For example, the Hero automatic pill dispenser comes with 10 dosing cups, but you can buy more.
I have arthritis and can’t open pill boxes. Can I still use an automatic pill dispenser?
Choose an automatic pill dispenser that drops medications into a cup at the dosing time. These models are more expensive but don’t require opening a lid or flipping it over to silence the dose notification.
Is it a waste of money to buy a higher-capacity automatic pill dispenser if I only take two medications twice a day?
While you can use a simple automatic pill dispenser for your needs, there are advantages to the higher-capacity, high-tech models. You will refill the dispenser less frequently and have more alert options.
You may need different medications at some point with a more complicated dosing schedule. Buy a more advanced automatic pill dispenser now, and you should be ready for any medication changes.
Concluding Thoughts about Automatic Pill Dispensers
Taking medications on time and avoiding overdoses prevents medical emergencies
An automatic pill dispenser ensures patients take their medications and supplements as directed for their safety and health. Using one of our top dispensers helps retirees live without outside assistance, and reduces the chore of frequently reloading pill cases.
The Best Automatic Pill Dispensers
|Automatic Pill Dispenser||Best For|
|1||Hero Automatic Pill Dispenser||Best Mobile App|
|2||LiveFine 28-Day Automatic Pill Dispenser||Best Battery Operated|
|3||GMS Automatic Pill Dispenser Smart Device Edition||Best Bluetooth|
|4||e-Pill MedSmart PLUS||Best Monitoring Service|
|5||MedaCube||Best for Complicated Schedules|