Time to take your meds: How to manage meds with your iPhone

Your iPhone offers a built-in health app through which you can track your health and fitness, monitor medical conditions, and access records from supported hospitals. Now, with iOS 16, you also have the ability to manage your medications.

Apple’s iOS 16 is coming in the fall, but early adopters can check it out now through the public beta. Download it and you’ll have the ability to add and track each of your medications, set reminders, and even learn more about possible interactions between the different medications you’re taking. Here’s how the new feature works.

Add drugs

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In the Health app, swipe the summary screen down and tap Add medication under the Configure drugs section. You can also click Browsethen select Medications under Health Categories and choose Add medication.

Select name

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Start typing the name of your medicine. If you see a match, tap the appropriate listing. Be sure to select not just the name, but the correct dosage, if listed. If the medicine does not appear among the results, tap the camera icon to take a photo of it.

Scan the drug

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Press the Begin button and place the medicine in the camera frame as shown. If the drug is identified by the scan, tap the correct match. Again, be sure to select the correct name and dosage, if available.

Add dose

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Some medications come in more than one form, so you may be asked to choose between a topical cream, tablet, oral solution, or capsule. If the dosage was not included when you added the drug, the next screen will ask you to choose the drug strength. Select the correct dosage and press Next.

Manually add medication

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All standard FDA-approved drugs must be identified by a search or scan. However, if you cannot find your medications, you can also manually add the name. To do this, press Search by name to add the medicine, then touch Next.

Add liquid

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If you manually add a drug because it cannot be identified by search or scan, you are prompted to choose the drug type, such as capsule, liquid, cream, drops, or spray. You are then prompted to choose the unit of measurement, for example mg, g or ml.

Set frequency and time

Add interval

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After entering a medication, you are asked how often you take it and at what time of day. Faucet Frequency and select the interval; At regular intervals, on certain days of the week, as needed. Then choose a start date and press Do.

Select Add an hour under Time of day and enter the time you take the medicine. You can add more than once if you take it more than once a day. Press the 1 tablet link (assuming the medicine is in pill form) to change the number of doses of the medicine you take at each interval, then press Next.

Confirm shape and color

Choose the shape

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You will need to confirm the shape and color of the pill you are taking. Tap the shape that best matches the appearance of the drug, then tap Next. Select the color that best matches the medicine.

Choose color

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You can also assign a drug-specific background color, if you need to differentiate one drug from another, or simply to better highlight the image. Faucet Next Once finished.

Finalize medications

Add optional details

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Confirm the drug name, dosage and schedule. If you need to edit any details, tap the back arrow in the top left until you reach each previous screen. Otherwise, you can add optional details on this summary screen. When you are done, press Next.

Show trades

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The next screen informs you of any potential interactions when you add other drugs to the list. Select any of the displayed items that you use to see if there are any interactions between them and your medications. When you are done, press Do. You can then touch Add drugs if you need to add another medicine.

Track your medications

See drug interactions

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Once everything has been added, you can see all the medications you are taking from the Summary screen. Check the Diary section to see when you should take each medication. The Your Medications section will display the names, dosages, and frequencies of the medications you take. You can also check for drug interactions from the Interactions section.

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View drug details

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Tap a specific drug to see its summary screen. If you need to change the program, press the Edit link next to Schedule and enter a new interval and time. Swipe down to see the details you’ve entered. Faucet Edit to change any of these details.

Further down is the About section, which displays information about the drug. Faucet Side effects to learn more about the potential side effects of this medication.

Modify the list of medications

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You can edit the list of medications to remove or change their order. Press the Edit next to Your medications, then select the trash can icon next to any you’re no longer taking and want to delete. This drug is then added to the archived list in case you need to add it back to the active list in the future.

To change the order in which drugs are listed, tap the hamburger icon next to a specific listing, then drag and drop it up or down.

Take your medication

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When it’s time to take one of your scheduled medications, your iPhone will remind you with a visual notification and an audio tone. Tap the notification to see scheduled medications. Press the Taken to indicate that you have taken a medication or choose the Ignored to indicate that you have skipped the dose at this time.

The Saved section of the Summary screen displays all the medications you took for the day and indicates the time you took them.

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