Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
59,283
23,260


With iOS 16 and watchOS 9, Apple is making it easier for users to track their medications. Medicine, vitamins, and supplements can all be added to the Health app in iOS 16 for tracking purposes, and custom reminders to take medication can be set up.

watchos-9-ios-16-medication-list.jpg

You can add your prescription medications to the Health app on the iPhone through the new "Medications" category. You can search for your medications and manually add them or scan them using the iPhone's camera. If you're scanning a medication, just give the app permission and then put your medication in the camera frame.

ios-16-medications-app-interface.jpg

Most of the time, the iPhone can read the label and interpret what you're taking, though you might need to fine tune your dose. From there, you can add in the time you take it and how often you take it to get a reminder. You can create a custom schedule for each medication, and give each one a unique visual with customizable background.

ios-16-medications.jpg

If you have an Apple Watch, all of your medications are listed in the new Medications app, which makes it very easy to check them off when you take them. Tap on a medicine in the app and then tap on either Taken or Skipped to log it.

medications-watchos-9.jpg

You can also mark medications as taken in the Health app on the iPhone, but it is easier to do so on the Apple Watch. A medication marked as taken goes into the "Logged" section of the app.

log-medication.jpg

In addition to keeping track of your medications and sending reminders to take them, the Health app is also able to detect potential drug interactions, letting you know if you're taking a dangerous combination. You can export your medications in a PDF list, and medication info can be shared with family members.

medication-interactions-ios-16.jpg

Medications are just one new Health feature on the iPhone, with Apple also introducing support for an Activity app able to track your daily movement even if you don't have an Apple Watch.


Article Link: iOS 16 and watchOS 9 Add Support for Tracking Medications
 
  • Like
Reactions: bobcomer

kc9hzn

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2020
1,120
1,185
Watch European Union file a formal complaint against Apple for stifling medication-tracking competition.
Only if there’s a popular European one (or a Dutch “dosage tracking” app, if you get what I mean!)

(As a side note, isn’t it wonderful that that’s an existing Dutch stereotype? I can make an allusion to the Dutch “dating app” situation, tie it into another Dutch stereotype, and still connect it back to Sherlocking medicine tracking apps!)
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2020
1,120
1,185
Only if there’s a popular European one (or a Dutch “dosage tracking” app, if you get what I mean!)

(As a side note, isn’t it wonderful that that’s an existing Dutch stereotype? I can make an allusion to the Dutch “dating app” situation, tie it into another Dutch stereotype, and still connect it back to Sherlocking medicine tracking apps!)
For what it’s worth, I’m an old timer these days. There may be people on here who don’t even know what Sherlocking even means, certainly there are plenty who couldn’t tell you how that came to be the term. Sherlock was a search app dating back to Mac OS 8 (eventually Spotlight killed it off). Watson was an app that could do Sherlock-like things but more. Apple integrated Watson-like features into Sherlock. As a result, Sherlock became the term for a generation of Mac users to go to to describe Apple adding the functionality of third party apps into the operating system or its included software.

(Replying to myself to keep the extended history lesson bit outside of the funny meaningless internet points bit.)
 

oddevan

macrumors newbie
Nov 11, 2015
5
11
I think Apple just killed off a number of medication health apps that do just this.
Hi, I make one. Or at least I used to. The version in the store right now is SUPER old, and I’ve been trying to write a SwiftUI version… for a while.

Anyway, I see two possibilities for my app here:

1. My app is completely obviated. I’m free!
2. Health only tracks medicines you take regularly. Mine tracks incidental meds like Advil and Sudafed. We coexist, and I might even be able to send the data to Health!

…I’m kinda hoping it’s the first one. 😅
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ksj1

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2018
162
228
Pro tip - Do not take your levothyroxine and Omega 3's at the same time. At least 1 hour apart.
 

Mr. Dee

macrumors 601
Dec 4, 2003
4,772
8,897
Jamaica
This alone is motivating reason to upgrade from my S3 this fall. I was hoping to hold out until next year when the Series 9 launches alongside the iPhone 15.
 

dannyyankou

macrumors G4
Mar 2, 2012
11,726
24,088
Westchester, NY
Cool feature. I’ve already added mine and found out about a couple interactions I didn’t even know about, my doctor never even told me about them. I have some questions for him now haha.
 

Robert.Walter

macrumors 68030
Jul 10, 2012
2,576
3,500
What I don’t understand is if this functionality is in the apps, why is it iOS version dependent?

It can only be because of planned obsolescence.

I can understand an older iPhone might not be able to offer system level functions but when the features are part of an app (with nothing more complex than a list with a reminder and a link back to Apple’s interaction list on a server - if not on device already) then there seems no decent reason why this functionality is not available on older phones.

Wish I could use this on my iPad.

Wasn’t it Apple who said “1. once we have Apple silicon in our macs, and 2. We have a tool to adapt iOS apps directly to the Mac, all the goodness of iOS apps will be on the Mac too”?

This alone is motivating reason to upgrade from my S3 this fall. I was hoping to hold out until next year when the Series 9 launches alongside the iPhone 15.

As a stop-gap you could get the reminder functionality using the reminder app. I’ve been doing this for years (I take a nexium pill every other day).

Sure this way doesn’t have interaction or alcohol warnings but if you don’t have a complex situation this works well.

I think Apple just killed off a number of medication health apps that do just this.

I’m ok with that.

A few years ago I looked to set up such an app for my mom but the one with best appeal (created by a doctor) seemed to want too much personal information so I decided to let mom remain with her day of the week pill box.
 

matrix07

macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
7,632
4,419
As a stop-gap you could get the reminder functionality using the reminder app. I’ve been doing this for years (I take a nexium pill every other day).

Sure this way doesn’t have interaction or alcohol warnings but if you don’t have a complex situation this works well.
I always use Alarm for it (with label for each medication). Looks like now I won't need to.
 

akac

macrumors 6502
Aug 17, 2003
487
86
Colorado
What I don’t understand is if this functionality is in the apps, why is it iOS version dependent?

It can only be because of planned obsolescence.

I can understand an older iPhone might not be able to offer system level functions but when the features are part of an app (with nothing more complex than a list with a reminder and a link back to Apple’s interaction list on a server - if not on device already) then there seems no decent reason why this functionality is not available on older phones.
Because its part of HealthKit which is a system level API. The app is just the UI to a system level API.
 

porte9

macrumors member
Apr 28, 2022
30
35
Because its part of HealthKit which is a system level API. The app is just the UI to a system level API.
Was there a reason that tracking medications needs to be an exposed API?
 

Reason077

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2007
3,253
2,996
I hate the way the "TIME SENSITIVE" label appears on notifications. Needless clutter, and ugly caps. I tend to turn off time sensitive because of it.

Either there should be a subtle icon to indicate time sensitive notifications, or the time sensitive label should only appear when a notification overrides your focus / do not disturb settings.
 

joecomo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2010
644
837
good stuff - there once was a great open source app for that (think it was called „pills“) but it got orphaned
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.