I want to say a big thank-you to Hero Health for sponsoring this review and helping me raise awareness in the process. All views and opinions are my own.
As a caregiver, whether it be for someone with Autism or perhaps an elderly loved one, fostering or even preserving a maximum level of independence is really important. We recently went through this with my grandparents and it wasn’t easy. One of the big challenges with my grandparents was often medication management.
People often forget to take their medications or incorrectly take them. This is a big safety issue and can be a difficult situation to navigate.
For the past couple of months, I’ve been using this absolutely amazing product called Hero. Hero is a smart automatic pill dispenser that manages up to ten different medications. Hero can manage any size and shape of pill with ease.
UPDATE: Hero has lowered the barrier of entry to get started with Hero. For $29.99 a month + a one time $99.99 initiation fee members get access to the Hero automatic pill dispenser, Hero’s integrated app, Hero Fill medication refill service (optional) and 24/7 support.
The Hero can be programmed to alert you when it’s time to take your medications and continue to annoy you until you take them. 😉
The way it works is pretty simple. Using the Hero app on your smartphone, you can add up to ten different medications to the Hero. You can build a custom schedule for taking your medications. At the designated time, an alarm will go off, reminding you to dispense your meds.
There’s a very simple navigation interface on the Hero itself. There’s a center button, surrounded by up, down, left and right. These buttons allow you to navigate the onscreen menu system and manage your medications.
You can also create a 4 digit pin that will be required when dispensing your medications as well.
When you are reminded to take your meds, simply make sure the included cup is in place and follow the onscreen prompts. You will be asked to confirm the medications you will be dispensing before the process begins. The time it takes to dispense all of your medications may vary, but it usually takes a minute or so for me to dispense seven different medications..
The process is pneumatic and therefore, does create a bit of noise, but I don’t find it too loud. Frankly, the convenience far outweighs the temporary sound.
There are occasions where the Hero is unable to dispense a pill. In this case, the rest of the pills will be dispensed before the door pops open and you are instructed to manually remove a pill from the cartridge.
It’s pretty straightforward.
Every single dose is tracked and you are notified when a medication is running low and is due for a refill.
When I first began using the Hero, I did experience times where a pill couldn’t be dispensed. That said, updates to Hero’s firmware have all but eliminated this from happening. I almost never experience any hiccups anymore and the pills I take come in various different sizes.
In the video below; you can see how the process works. Please note that the mic on the camera makes the Hero sound much louder than it actually is.
I’ll be uploading a better video later on, but for now, you get the point.
We also need to talk about the Hero app. The Hero app allows a caregiver to monitor their loved one’s compliance with a medication regimen. You can monitor, create, and edit schedules directly from the app. You can also add, remove, or update medication info as well. Notifications and reminders are sent to your smartphone as well.
It’s important to note that any changes made via the app will need to be confirmed on the Hero itself before they take effect.
For example, if you need to adjust the schedule or a medication, you can do so from the app. Once saved, the app will send the information to the Hero itself. An alarm will sound letting you know that a change has been submitted. You have to approve the change before it takes effect.
This is important to note when making changes remotely.
When my grandma was still living at home, she was on a ton of medications that needed to be taken throughout the day. They were put into one of those pill holders and it was a mess.
We would find pills in the wrong places, even on the floor and pills that were never taken. Her memory was poor and she was just unable to manage these things on her own. It was a big problem and one of the reason we had to intervene.
She lived over an hour away, so being able to load the app and make sure she’d taken her meds would have been so helpful and maybe even prolonged the amount of time she was able to remain at home.
I can see Hero being very useful in situations with elderly loved ones, special needs kids transitioning to adulthood and even people like me, who simply want to streamline their life.
One downside is that Hero is designed to manage medications for only one person. That means you would need multiple Heros to manage multiple people’s medications.
There are creative ways of managing more than one person’s medications, but it’s just a workaround and the total amount of pills for everyone needs to be less than ten. It’s not super efficient but it does work.
The folks at Hero Health are constantly working to improve the Hero and are working to find solutions for some of these things. Firmware updates are pushed out automatically, so your Hero is always up to date.
There is a plastic key that can be used to manually pop the door open but you can also do it from the onscreen menu as well.
I think Hero is an amazing product and I would recommend it anyone managing multiple medications.
One of the things I see the potential for is helping those with special needs better manage their own medications. Every family is different and it might not be possible for some but I think it can go a long way toward promoting at least some independence.
You can purchase Hero for yourself by visiting their website. Click here.
If you use any of the links above to purchase a Hero, you will save $50 and I’ll get credit. 👍😉