Which Medications Can It Handle?
According to the website “Hero can dispense pills of any shape, size, or texture. Hero, however, cannot dispense half pills, injectables, liquids, or soft gummies, like chewy children’s vitamins.”. It does not handle liquid or non-room temperature medications, although it can “remind” you about them.
The overall look and feel of the product is very modern and “consumer-ish” — as distinct from “medical-ish”.
Security & Anti-tampering
The pill compartments in the system itself are locked by a key, but can be accessed via the buttons on the unit, as described under “Separation between Dispensee and Filler Roles” above.
This seems to us to be a potential problem in the situation of a dispensee with cognitive impairment who might get confused as to which compartment to open and when.
Adjusting medication schedules happen via the App, which can be limited to Caregivers if that is appropriate.
Hacking the System
Because it is connected to the Internet, it is theoretically possible someone could hack into and gain control of the system. When we brought this up with the company they told us they had gone to a lot of trouble to make the system resistant to such hacking. But it is always hard to know just what that means.
Power & Battery Backup
The system is designed to be plugged in to the power outlet. Unlike most of its competitors, it does NOT include a battery backup, and the company reccommends adding an uninterruptible power supply (like many people do for their computer). If your WiFi goes down when power is out, then the connection to the Internet (and thus caregiver alerts) will no longer work.
Vacations & Trips & Leaving the House
We went away for a couple of weeks while using the product. We simply turned it off and left it. When we returned we turned it back on, and it started working again immediately without needing any “set up”.
It would be quite difficult to take the system with you on a trip. It is large and bulky, and definitely not something to go in your suitcase. Furthermore, the internal mechanism is apparently rather delicate and definitely not designed to be “luggable”.
The product lets you dispense medications “early”. It is relatively simple to have it dispense “multiple” future doses if you are going away for several days, but it is a bit tedious, as it dispenses each one at a time.