Smart pill organizers and apps help consumers remember to take their dietary supplements

Nutritional Outlook, Volume 25, Issue 6

Supplements only work if they are taken regularly. A smart system can help consumers reduce the mental load of their daily supplement routine.

Many in the wellness space are familiar with the plastic basket on the fridge or the counter filled with supplement and vitamin bottles. The bottles can be large and unattractive, but if they’re not visible, they’re often forgotten. Pill organizers set out by day of the week are helpful, and calendar reminders can be beneficial in ensuring pills are taken, but for many, something is lacking. The strain of remembering and then consuming daily medication can be exhausting and counterproductive to wellness objectives.

“Supplements can be extremely beneficial in supporting one’s health, particularly when there is a specific health goal,” explains naturopath Sam Bowen, ND. “Although we try to get many nutrients through our diet, sometimes this isn’t possible, which is where supplements can really play an important role. The biggest barrier that I see in my practice is patients neglecting to take their pills. Many supplement bottles are put in a cupboard and forgotten, or schedules are so busy that [patients] completely forget to take their supplements.”

Technology Shoulders the Load

Reframing the task of taking daily pills into a ritual that sets intention for health and wellness can support the creation of a habit. Reducing the mental load associated with routine tasks is advantageous to ongoing success. Supplement users and wellness practitioners are looking to automate and find tools to encourage routine behavior and daily habits.

Kate Bouchard, founder of Loba, a smart pill organizer and app, understands the value of reducing the mental load of remembering daily tasks. “My schedule is busy and ever-changing. Supplements are an essential component in feeling my best, but even so, I’d forget to take them,” she explains. This experience led Bouchard to create a solution that fit her lifestyle. “Loba lights up when it’s time to take your pills or supplements,” she continues. “The gentle glow, in a color chosen by the user, is intended to tap into those visual cues and inspire positivity in addition to reminding you to pause and prioritize your health. Paired with notifications in an app, Loba takes the hassle out of pill and supplement management.”

Utilizing technology can advance how supplement users streamline their daily routines. Getting that reminder in your hand at the same time every day can make the difference to a healthy routine. Apps like Loba can allow you to manage your medication or supplement schedule, set reminders, log when you take your pills, as well as access wellness experts for additional resources and information. Loba’s pill organizers connect to the app so reminders come in two forms.

Consistent routines, made easier with technology, ensure consumers realize the long-term health benefits of supplement usage. “Certain supplements can show effectiveness within a few weeks, whereas others may take up to a few months,” explains Bowen. “Your licensed healthcare provider should provide a clear outline of when you can expect to notice results and the duration for taking the supplement. But whatever that expectation, consistency in taking the supplements is key.”

“The reality is that we live in a fast-paced world, with a lot on our minds,” says Bouchard. “Supplementation is a really great way to correct and recalibrate your body, giving it what it needs to perform. However, remembering to take those supplements can be just another thing to add to the list. Many people complete the steps of visiting a naturopath, creating a supplement program, spending money on the products, but then the follow through of actually taking those supplements is where lots of us tend to stumble.”

While a plastic basket on the counter can act as a visual cue, it also contributes to over-stimulation and clutter. Finding a pill organizer designed for your space puts pills where you can see them without contributing to chaos. Another success indicator is understanding the benefits of the supplements. “Education around why a patient should be taking a certain supplement really improves overall compliance,” adds Bowen. “Patients want to feel empowered about their health, and empowerment leads to long-term action and compliance.”

Supplements are not a quick health and wellness fix. They are one element of a healthy lifestyle that requires maintenance and continual effort to see and feel the results. Setting yourself up for success in your routine will have long-term benefits. Creating positive habits that reduce mental load inspires overall wellness.

“Meal prepping or organizing your supplements for the week is your present self taking care of your future self,” says Bouchard. “We’re turning supplement taking into something you can really feel good about doing—a micro-moment of wellness in your day.”

About the Author

Jenn Wint is a writer, public relations specialist, and founder of WINT Communications, which represents Loba. She is passionate about sharing exceptional stories connecting people, communities, and businesses. Wint is the author of Josie’s Busy Calendar, a self-care story for kids, and is a contributor to MomBabes: A Motherhood Anthology. She lives in East Vancouver, Canada, with her husband, son, and daughter where she is on a quest to find the city’s best chocolate chip cookie. For more information about Dr. Sam Bowen, ND, visit www.drsambowen.com.