Leveraging Digital Tools for AFib Med Support

The old cliché rings true, “medications don’t work if they’re not taken.” Many of us have experienced walking away with a new prescription without understanding what it’s really for, how it works, or how this may affect our other medications. Managing one medication properly is difficult enough, but add in multiple prescriptions and you can quickly find yourself in over your head.
When it comes to AFib, medications are often the first line defense to slow heart rate and reduce the risk of stroke. Anticoagulants, as with other medications, work best when taken exactly as prescribed but the consequence for taking them incorrectly is correspondingly higher. When taken improperly, your blood may too thin, increasing the risk of bleeding. Conversely, if your blood is too thick, the risk of stroke increases.
The introduction of smart phones and other digital technology presents a new opportunity for staying on track with meds. Keeping track of your medications digitally means that each doctor’s visit can begin with a more informed conversation. Not only does it show that you’ve ‘done your homework’ and taken clear steps toward following the care plan or medication directions that have been agreed upon, but it can also make you a more informed patient.
Take Mike for instance, a 63-year-old Medisafe user from Toronto who received a heart transplant a few years ago. Keeping track of all of his medications digitally alerted him to the fact that a new prescription he received was contraindicated for his other medications.  He was then able to inform his doctors of the need for another solution. Mike kept himself safe and reminded his doctor to always ask patients about all medications taken, including those prescribed by other physicians.
Connecting with care partners, family members or friends, is another key component of staying on track with medications. An alternative to daily phone calls checking on medication adherence, care partners can simply receive an automatic notification if a dose is missed.
The Medisafe app on your smart phone can remind you when to take your meds, alert your care partners, and help you learn more about your medications. Each time you add a new medication, you’ll see videos and written materials to explain the purpose of the medication so you can always look back. Your phone can become your best weapon in your fight against AFib.
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