Check out my experience after 12 months of using Hero to manage my medications: Update
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, myself included. This is a big safety issue and can be a difficult situation to navigate.
For me personally, this can also be a very important tool for self-care. Speaking from my own experience, I can often forget to take my own medications. I sometimes forget to take my own medications because of everything going on in my life. This is a big problem because if I don’t take care of myself, what good would I be to anyone else? Hero presents me with an opportunity to take better care of myself and that’s something I intend on taking full advantage of.
What Is The HERO Smart Automatic Pill Dispenser?
The HERO Smart Automatic Pill Dispenser manages up to ten different medications. Hero can manage any size and shape of pill with ease and provide detailed compliance data to caregivers via the Hero app. There quite a few usage scenarios for Hero but let me talk a little bit about the device itself before getting into those.
Hero helps you remember to take your medications.
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 throughout the day. 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 and interact with the
on-screen menu. For security, you can create a 4 digit pin that will be required when dispensing your medications as well. The menu is clean and navigation is simple, as well as user friendly. There is very little learning curve here.
When you are reminded to take your meds, simply make sure the included cup is in place and follow the onscreen prompts. Hero prompts you to enter your security code and then asks you to confirm the medications that will be dispensed before the process begins. The time it takes to dispense all of your medications may vary, but it usually takes a minute or less for me to dispense eight different medications.
The process is pneumatic (suction) and therefore, does create some noise, but I don’t find it too loud, and to be completely honest, I don’t even hear it anymore. Frankly, the convenience far outweighs the minute or so of pneumatic noise.
There are occasions where the Hero is unable to automatically dispense a pill. You simply manually remove the pill with the door pops open.
It’s pretty straightforward.
My Experience Using TheHERO Smart Automatic Pill Dispenser
When I first began using the HERO Smart Automatic Pill Dispenser, I did experience the odd occasion when 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.
Every single dose is tracked and you are notified when a medication is running low and is due for a refill. You can use the optional refill service to have automatic refills shipped directly to your home.
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.
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. Notifications and reminders are sent directly 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. That simply requires a single button press on the Hero itself.
For example, if you need to adjust the schedule or 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 I think about the different scenarios that the HERO Smart Automatic Pill Dispenser would work good in, there are few that rise to the top of the list. The most obvious usage would be an elderly loved one. 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 plastic 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 wasn’t the best and she was just unable to manage these things on her own. It was a big problem and one of the reasons 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 many families and caregivers benefiting from the smartification of medication management that Hero brings to the table and yes, I know that smartification isn’t really a word but I think it fits.
Another situation that I can see Hero being very useful in is special needs kids transitioning to adulthood. One of the most important things a parent can do for their child with special needs is foster independence. Every child and situation is different but being able to manage their own medications in a safe way is a hugely positive thing.
The other usage case that comes to mind is that of my own personal situation. I’ve been using Hero to help me manage my own medications. I’m often so overwhelmed, exhausted, and wrapped up in my kids, that I can easily forget to take my own medication.
A huge part of self-care is medication compliance and it’s also a huge part of managing my depression. Hero is helping me to improve my medication compliance and that helps me to take better care of myself.
Cost and Conclusions
One only downside is that I can find 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.
Hero also requires a monthly subscription. 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. You are able to use the code “theautismdad50” and you will save $50 off the initiation fee.
Hero dramatically changes the way we can manage medications for ourselves or our loved ones. I think the benefits to using Hero are many and aside from the monthly cost, there really isn’t a downside that I can see. Helping someone gain or maintain their independence is so important. This could mean elderly loved ones can remain in their own homes for longer and maybe avoid a nursing home all together. Hero has the power to make significant improvements to peoples lives and I wish I had discovered it sooner.
The folks at Hero Health are constantly working to improve the Hero and firmware updates are pushed out automatically, so your Hero is always up to date.
I think Hero is an amazing product and I would recommend it anyone wanting to better manage medications for themselves or their loved ones.
You can purchase Hero for yourself by clicking the button below.
If you use the code “theautismdad50” at checkout, you’ll save $50
Using The HERO Smart Automatic Pill Dispenser 12 Months later
Before I get into this review, I want to share my experience using the HERO Smart Automatic Pill Dispenser over the last 12 months. My personal usage scenario has been using Hero to manage my daily medications. There are a few reasons I chose to go that route, other than using it for one of my kids. Basically, it came down to the fact that this can really only be used with one person. I mention below that there are ways around that but it’s not recommended for a few reasons, a big one being the risk of cross-contamination. Gavin has been using pill packs for years and the E’s aren’t on enough medication to make good use of this.
The biggest reason, however, is that I never forget to dose out my kid’s medications. I keep an eye on Gavin but he’s largely managing his own. Elliott and Emmett’s get dosed out at bedtime and I never forget to do that.
While I’m very good with my kids medications, I have been known to forget mine. Between being sleep deprived, overwhelmed and spread way too thin, I simply forget to take my own meds. Self-care is something I struggle with and forgetting to take my meds is not helpful. In fact, it can be hugely counterproductive. I’m not on heavy medications but I’m being treated for depression and I’m still on a statin. I also take vitamins and a couple supplements recommended by my doctor.
To put it bluntly, the HERO Smart Automatic Pill Dispenser makes medication management idiot proof for me. It sits on my dresser and screams at me to take my meds every morning at 9:30 am. By scream I mean an alarm goes off until I dispense my meds, take them, and put the cup back. It reminds me to get refills and tracks my compliance over time. Of course, I know that I should be more responsible but right now, I can use all the help I can get. I don’t forget to take my meds anymore and that’s a very positive thing.
I have no complaints about Hero whatsoever. I’d love to be able to manage my whole family’s medications from a single device like this but that’s not what this has been designed to do. After using Hero for over a year, I can honestly recommend Hero to anyone who wants to streamline, smartify or just improve medication management for themselves or their loved ones. Please feel free to connect with me if you have any questions about Hero. I’m happy to help.
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