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WebMD designs medication alert function for its Apple Watch app


NEW YORK — When the Apple Watch hits retailers on April 24, WebMD will feature an innovative new medication reminder function built into its app that's designed specifically for the Apple Watch, WebMD announced Monday. WebMD's Apple Watch app will enable consumers to view daily medication schedules and instructions, as well as pill images with dosage and timing information, plus receive reminders when it's time to take a given medication – all on their Apple Watch.


"One of the most significant barriers to achieving positive patient outcomes is the issue of medication non-compliance, which remains a largely unsolved problem today," stated WebMD president Steven Zatz. "We believe that the combination of WebMD's Medication Reminder on Apple Watch represents a powerful new approach to address the issue of non-compliance in a way never before possible."


"The Apple Watch is an immensely personal device that provides WebMD with an unprecedented opportunity to influence patient compliance," said Benjamin Greenberg, VP product management and user experience at WebMD. "Additionally, the Watch's Long-Look notifications enable WebMD to display medication and dosage information more directly and discreetly than on any other platform, keeping the user's experience simple while helping to protect the privacy of their sensitive health information."


When users open the WebMD Apple Watch app, they'll see their daily medication schedule and information about whether or not they've taken a required dose. They will also be able to read medication instructions, such as whether to take a pill with food, and access additional in-depth information on their iPhone via Handoff.


Each "Medication Reminder" notification includes customizable pill images, as well as dosage and timing information. When users are prompted to take a given medication, they are asked to log one of four possible actions:


  • Take the medication;

  • Skip the medication;

  • Snooze; or

  • Dismiss the reminder.


When a user chooses "Snooze," they will be reminded to take the medication again after 15 minutes. If a user chooses to "Dismiss" a given reminder, they will receive an alert at the time of the next scheduled dose.  


WebMD's "Glance" delivers an entirely new way for users to receive information about their medication regimen. The Glance lets users know what time to take their next scheduled dose (e.g. 12:00 p.m.), or if that user is scheduled to take a dose within two hours or less, they will receive a message (e.g. "Next dose in 59 minutes") instead of the time.  If the time for the last scheduled dose of the day has passed, the Glance is updated to show whether the final dose was "Taken," "Missed" or "Skipped." 


WebMD's enhanced app with Medication Reminders will be available for download in the Apple Watch App Store beginning April 24. Consumers can get the WebMD App for iPhone now as a free download from the App Store.

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