Hero Automatic Pill Dispenser

Hero Automatic Pill Dispenser Review

Hero Machine

Medication adherence is difficult for between 40% and 75% of seniors who struggle to remember when to take which medication at the right time. Hero is designed to automatically dispense the correct pills for your medication schedule at the push of a button.

Hero is ideal for those on a regimen of prescription or over-the-counter pills, including vitamins and supplements. This automatic pill dispenser is also a good option for those who forget to take their medications, or who have arthritis or other issues that make opening pill bottles difficult. The Hero pill dispenser is a top pick for Best Mobile App in our Automatic Pill Dispensers guide.

Pros
  • 30-day trial with money-back guarantee
  • Holds a one-month supply of up to 10 different pills
  • Prescription refill alerts
  • iOS and Android app notifies caregivers of missed doses
  • Tech support available to help with setup
Cons
  • Can’t dispense liquid or powder medications

How to Set Up Hero Automatic Pill Dispenser

The Hero automatic pill dispenser is a high-tech device that requires a bit of time to set up. Instructions for use are clear and thorough. The medications schedule is easy to program using the Hero mobile app for Android or iOS. Hero holds at least a 30-day supply of multiple medications, depending on the size of the pills.

Hero App

Plug in your Hero automatic pill dispenser, then connect it to Wi-Fi. Use the mobile app to program Hero with doses multiple times a day. First, identify each pill, then choose dispensing times. Finally, load medications and supplements into canisters in the dispenser. If you do not have a smartphone or you are worried about missing a dose, you can add a caregiver to help you stay on track with your medications.

 

Hero’s Automatic Dosing and Prescription Refills

Hero chimes and sends a notification to your smartphone when it’s time to take one or more medications. Press a button on the device to dispense pills in the correct doses. If you miss a dose, the app sends a notification to a designated caretaker or loved one, so they can make sure you take your dose. Hero notifies you when you are running low on a particular medication so you can refill the canister.

You can also use the app to program Hero to automatically reorder medications, a service called Hero Fill. Provide your prescribing doctor and pharmacy contact information, then snap a photo of your health insurance card. Hero transfers your prescription records to TruePill, the company’s pharmacy partner.

 

Hero Pill Dispenser Cost

You pay a one-time initiation fee of $99.99 to receive and use a Hero pill dispenser. After that, you pay a monthly membership fee. The Basic Hero plan is $29.99 with access to the device, app, optional medication refill service and technical support. The premium membership, called the Super Hero plan, costs $99.99 per month and includes extended phone and email support.

Hero Fill is a free prescription refill service. Of course, you still have to pay your insurance copay for medications.

Hero requires a one-year membership commitment. If you cancel during the first year of membership, you’ll be charged for the remaining months of that year. After the first year, you can cancel any time with no remaining balance due.

Hero Pill Dispenser Plans
Feature Basic Hero Super Hero
Cost per month $29.99 $99.99
Full access to the Hero app Yes Yes
Dispenser with low pill reminders and passcode option to protect medications Yes Yes
Support, 24/7 customer line, warranty and software upgrades Yes Yes
Phone and email support for missed doses, if device goes offline or medications are running low No Yes

 

How to Buy Hero Automatic Pill Dispenser

You can purchase the Hero pill dispenser on the company’s website. Shipping is free.

 

Hero Automatic Pill Dispenser Complaints

Hero is new on the market and does not have a lot of consumer reviews. The company publishes customer reviews on the Hero website with a 4.8 out of 5-star rating. The device also gets consistently high reviews from bloggers and websites, including Highya, the Lung Institute and Autism Dad. Hero gets an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.

 

Hero Automatic Pill Dispenser Q&A

  • What is Hero’s cancellation policy?

    You can return Hero for any reason to get a refund within the first 30 days. There is no shipping fee, but you need to return the unit in original packaging. If you decide to return Hero after the 30-day trial, but before the initial 12-month membership period ends, the company automatically charges your credit card for the remaining monthly payments for the first year.

    You can cancel at any time after the first year, but return the Hero pill dispenser within 30 days of the last month of membership to avoid a $300 charge.

  • How does the Hero Fill service work?

    This optional service allows Hero to order your prescription refills, over-the-counter medications and supplements. Use the mobile app to transfer your prescriptions, and Hero’s agent can reorder or request new prescriptions from your doctor.

  • Does Hero automatic pill dispenser come with a warranty?

    Hero covers the device for defects in workmanship or material. The company will repair or replace the pill dispenser at any time during your membership if it fails during normal use. The Super Hero plan adds coverage for damage resulting from regular use.

  • Can I pay for the Hero automatic pill dispenser with an HSA or FSA credit card?

    Yes, you can buy Hero with your Health Savings Account or Flexible Savings Account.

  • Is the cost of the Hero pill dispenser tax deductible?

    You can deduct the cost of the Hero pill dispenser and membership fees if you are using it to treat a diagnosed illness. The IRS allows deductions for diagnostic devices, including those used for medical treatment. Talk to your tax accountant for details.

 

Conclusion

The Hero automatic pill dispenser is easy-to-use and can help you take your medications on time, every time. The device works best for those who have a caregiver or other person who can monitor the app for missed or late doses. Consider the Hero pill dispenser if you are comfortable with using a mobile app for set up, or you have someone who can do that for you.

Hero Automatic Pill Dispenser Reviews

Recent Reviews

Featured Review
May 13 2021 3:55AM

The machine costs $100 - not $1000 as other reviewers have noted. The monthly fee is for the app on your phone and you can't use the machine without it. We have had the machine about 6 months.

I set it up pretty easily, although the internet-linking and phone-app install would have been a test for my parents (they bought their first smart phone for this). The phone app is pretty user-friendly and made it simple to list the meds, dosages and schedule.

Refilling medication is easy enough once you learn the procedure and is done entirely with the menu on the machine.

Overall we are pleased; Mom knows what to take and when to take it and seems motivated by the tracking graph that shows "100% compliance" for her medication taking "skills".

At "pill time" the machine's lights start flashing and it makes noise; it is probably impossible to ignore. You then push a button on the front of the Hero and pills are dispensed one by one, while it makes machinery noises and vibrates. I can tell from downstairs that it is dispensing.

If she doesn't push the button to dispense her meds, I would get a text on the phone (or a call, if that's what you prefer) to alert me.

Improvements? I wish the 'pods' were larger to accommodate more doses. Regular-sized capsules like ** must be refilled regularly as only 45 pills of that size fit in a pod at one time.

The machine is also limited to 10 different meds. If you take more than 10 meds you would need a second machine AND a separate, $30 per month app.

I would think that one subscription to the phone app could accommodate a second machine for 1 person, maybe for a small fee, but full price is ridiculous. The One-machine-per-person rule would make some homes two-machine abodes for couples who have an extra $60 a month.

I have had an issue with the machine and called customer service twice without resolution; say I refill the machine and enter the exact number of pills into the app.

You would imagine that the pricey app would use simple math to keep track of how many pills are remaining later on, by multiplying doses by days and subtracting from the original amount. Nope.

The machine is regularly showing "running low" warning on meds when there are plenty (like, 80) left.

One of the customer service folks told me "if the pill is very small, the picker has to reach farther down in the pod to get a pill" and that the machine is fooled into reporting low quantity.

This explanation sounds silly to me; the many sizes and shapes of medications must have been a hurdle for the engineers in developing this system and equipment and I don't think it can be blamed for the trouble the app has tracking pill counts.

I must admit, however, that the meds incorrectly reported "low" tend to be the tiny ones. There is optional capability for the Hero to contact both your doctor and pharmacy to alert them when you are low to order refills, which would be GREAT... if it was accurate.

I'm glad that we didn't approve that option in the initial setup! Recently the Hero software was auto-updated and the menus have changed a bit.

I imagine that the erroneous "low quantity" issue has been addressed and I will be checking pill counts to ensure that the problem has been solved. Security-wise, if someone wants your pills, they will get them. The machine is not huge or heavy and could be carried off.

A caretaker, etc could easily remove pills from it if they have access to it. Someone else wrote in their review that a pin number must be entered for every dose but this is not the case.

I believe a pin could be set up if necessary, but I do not remember this being an option when we set ours up. All security features are set up in the phone app but I don't have any real experience with them as they are not necessary for us at this time.

I will say that every dose dispensed had been accurate and on time, which is, of course, the most important thing. A dollar a day buys a peace of mind, for us. Wrap up: I like it and await improvements.

Amy L.
Merrimack, NH
October 20 2022 5:26PM

This thing has its perks, but also a lot of design flaws the company refuses to see. We called to offer our point of view, as an end-user of the product, and the customer service agent was very dismissive of our concerns and blamed it all on "People struggling with the app."

Maybe the app needs work if so many people have problems. It seems their designers didn't take their customer into mind... old people with less tech skills.

1. There needs to be a video or something to show people how this works and how the app and device work together, and maybe even a preview of what setup is like.

2. There was no real guidance or instruction manual for setup, just an app and a device, and if you don't know what order to do things in.... my parents ended up loading the whole machine and having to take everything back out.

It was really confusing for them and took me half a day to straighten back out for them. A little video walkthrough would have done them a great service.

3. If you just need to dispense one pill, like if you have pills you can take as needed outside of the schedule, you have to use your phone. How dumb. Why can't I just scroll through the device settings to get that pill? Why do I need a phone?

4. If you live someplace with power issues.... severe weather etc... no power, no pills. Now you have to get out that key and crack open the machine to a bunch of unlabeled cups of pills. Can it have a battery back-up?? Or do I need to buy an external one on my own?

5. Why don't the cups come with labels? That would make loading and issues like this a lot easier to deal with.

6. Why didn't this come pre-loaded with the drug information that will be placed in it? Why did I have to share the list of pills they take, along with dosages and times, just for this thing to show up with no programming?

It would be so cool if it came with the drugs programmed, cups labelled, and when you first turn on, the machine turned a cup to you and told you what drug to put in that cup, or the cups were labelled.

7. HUGE DESIGN FLAW: If you don't grab your pills within 30 minutes, the dosage is skipped. Oops! So now you're getting home from the store and the HERO doesn't even tell you that you need pills. Is that a HERO?

Tamara B.
Clermont, FL
May 16 2022 8:01PM

I got the device and tried it, but realized that it was too slow to actually be helpful during a morning prescription fill. I decided to stop using the device but was still charged the monthly fee.

I finally asked to stop my subscription and was told that not only do I need to pay the rest of the year subscription, I also need to pay for the device that got left at my last residence since it’s considered “lost” apparently the fee we pay initially might be just the cost of shipping and that the device is only rented to us.

The representative laughs because I missed all these important details while I did not get any resolution other than pay the last months and the lost device.

I got trapped and it’s just frustrating that despite having had a worthless device that I did not benefit from, I am now liable for hidden fees that is not mentioned with the upfront cost.

If you don’t have it among the options at check out I feel that these are all hidden cost, especially since I made this purchase through Instagram which leads quickly to checkout.

The representative was being smart with me and basically calling me stupid since I didn’t see those cost that he claims are present in their website. Be careful with hidden cost and watch out for the device since they still want it after 12 months when you decide not to continue.

Timothy H.
Greensboro, NC
May 11 2022 5:18AM

High pressure sales to have Hero send me refills. After signing up for refills, I get an email stating I don't qualify for refills because their pharmacy partner is not licensed for Alaska. The sales support should have known this! Now I have to spend the next 2-3 days refilling over half my meds which I need!!

Charles H.
FAIRBANKS, AK
November 09 2021 11:35PM

I am on my second machine. After while it stops dispensing correctly. It would dispense 2 out of my eight meds, 4 out of 8 meds. They just sent a new machine. I may send it Back and go back to the good old reliable pill box.

Lee G.
Cocoa, FL
August 22 2021 4:08AM

This device likely has many benefits for people without cognitive impairment. Unfortunately the people it is marketed to frequently have this issue. My mother in law happens to be one of those people.

We got the device because while she is med compliant she does not have a good memory for which meds to take and will get confused and will take the wrong medications at the wrong time.

We got this device for her back in May and at first we’re very optimistic that it would work well. What we quickly discovered was that the menu system is very confusing for someone that has dementia.

She would accidentally skip doses and would then have to be walked through how to dispense them. This would be fine except that the process for dispensing the missed doses is not intuitive and walking through was not a feasible thing.

Eventually we got her to the point of being able to dispense the medications most times without trouble. After a short period of peace and accurate dispensing we started encountering our next set of problems.

The device would have issues dispensing a pill and would provide a written prompt on the screen to manually dispense the pill by removing the pill container removing a pill and then properly reseating it in the device.

If she had full comprehension this would not have been an issue. But with cognitive impairment it became an issue of her not understanding the instructions and thinking that they had in fact dispensed the pill.

Further they did not notify us as the caregivers that this error had occurred. As a result we could not check with my mother in law to see whether she had taken the pill manually.

When we spoke to the support team at Hero Health they stated that there were no issues with the machine and that it is vital that she be able to skip doses.

They speak to medication adherence being important but do not promote the functionality for caregivers to actually get medication adherence.

They additionally stated that their workaround for the skipped dose problem was in a future release adding a remote dispense option. This would have been a wonderful feature to have.

But they still have not released it and as a result we are having to pay a substantial sum of money to have a person administer medications because we cannot trust the device to function properly or to promote medication adherence without constant monitoring and remote troubleshooting and coaching.

I understand that for many people who simply need a reminder to take medications this device might be a great solution.

But if you are looking at this for someone with cognitive impairment or dementia this would not be a good solution for you in my opinion. It is too complex in some aspects and not robust enough in others.

Jonathan L.
Minneapolis, MN
April 13 2021 1:01AM

Machine cost $1,000 and 360 a year. I would not recommend this to anyone. Hard to get customer service and support. I use pill pack and it is very easy to use and get refills. I think that the customer support is not in the USA.

Stephen T.
FRESNO, CA
March 12 2021 1:00AM

They’re not selling the dispenser, ONLY renting it to you for $1.00/day and if you don’t want to continue to use it you must return it and then you owe them $ 360 for the year!

They call it a “Membership fee,” but that’s only semantics! You’re renting it so the first year, it will cost you, $50.00 original fee & then the $360, therefore, it costs you ~ $ 1.15/ day! I’ve gotten better rental fees from Rent-A-Center.

Pixie M.
Phoenx, AZ
March 10 2021 2:22PM

Support is just ok- they seem to be overseas and have a difficult time communicating over their chat interface.

Major flaw in their software is the inability to control the amount of time that must elapse before a dose of an as needed medication can be taken after another one of the same medicine was taken.

This is common for over the counter meds like **. Directions might say "take 2 tablets up to 4 times a day at least 4 hours apart". This device would allow someone to take 4 such doses back to back with no time spacing.

This is a significant risk, not just for those with dementia (for which they don't recommend this machine) but for anyone who routinely takes such medicines and simply forgets when they last took it.

If you have the app on your phone, you can look up in the log to see when you last took the dose but many older users may not have this capability. Also when you're experiencing pain, you might not have 100% of your wits about you.

There is no excuse not to have this feature- it would be commonly used and should be easy to program.

Ken J.
Wilton, NH
February 13 2021 1:10AM

I want to warn all the persons about this pill dispenser and the app!!! First of all 1. This dispenser could not be handled by any impaired person or a person who have dementia because every time the device ask for a pin number at the time of the dispense!

2. This app don't function with recent android versions!! 3. This device is rented not owned so you need to return it if it don't fit your needs!

Or you pay $299 for contract cancellation and add $1,500 if you don't return the device to them and representative don't tell you about this statement when you "Buy" this dispenser when you call the sales department and it took more than a month to receive it! I don't recommend it.

Dennis C.
Oviedo, FL
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