Doctors' Notes

New App Helps You Stay Healthy

Welcome to Doctors’ Notes, our contribution from Urban Health correspondents (and husband and wife) physicians Dr. Rob and Dr. Karla Robinson.  The dynamic duo will be fielding questions about health, as it relates to African Americans.  Please feel free to send them questions via digitalpitches@ebony.comWe promise to keep it anonymous. 


Have you ever forgotten to take some medicine and wished you had a reminder? Whether you have trouble remembering the ever-important birth control pill, seven-day course of antibiotics for an infection, or daily medication for a chronic medical condition, most of us have experienced forgetting to take a pill just as the doctor ordered.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and for those living with mental health challenges, remembering to take their daily medicines is key. Not only is it necessary to stabilize the mood and allow those living with mental health issues the opportunity to live successful and productive lives, but it may also prevent symptoms of withdrawal. For some medications, if there is not a consistent dose present at all times, there may be serious unwanted side effects. Nevertheless, remembering that daily dose can still prove challenging.

This was what Grace Hayes, a pharmacy technician living in the UK experienced. While living with depression for many years, Grace often struggled with remembering to take her medicines that kept her mood stable. She knew that it was vitally important to take her prescribed medicines regularly and that some of her anti-depressants would have a massive effect on her even if she missed just one dose, but she still had trouble remembering to do it.

Then Grace discovered Medisafe—a medication management app that not only reminds users when it’s time to take their medication, but can also send family, friends, and caretakers alerts if patients miss a dose. Since downloading the app, Grace has been successfully taking her required medications on time, every day. Grace reports that using the app has been life-changing. “I’m regularly taking my medicine and my mood is stable. I’ve been able to work and maintain better relationships with my friends and family.”

Medisafe iOS Homescreen

One thing that allows Medisafe to have such appeal is that it is easy to use. Not only useful for those suffering from mental health challenges, this app can be useful for those assisting their elderly loved ones in remembering to take their medications, to parents helping their children manage chronic disease. In addition to the daily reminders, Grace has found several other features helpful. “I also like the weekly compliance report which gives you a percentage of your compliance. You’re also able to schedule appointment reminders.”

While some are still adapting to the idea of the use of technology in managing their health, it’s definitely a growing trend. Many physicians we spoke to about these advancements agree that whether necessary for short-term or long-term use, utilizing software that can assist you in sticking to the treatment plan that your health care provider has created is promising.

After using Medisafe, Grace is now optimistic about her future. “Mental health can also have a massive effect on personal relationships. It can be so hard, for say, your partner or parents to understand you’re suffering. But being proactive and using apps makes them feel you’re making positive steps to deal with your problems.”

If you need more information about Medisafe for help in managing your medications, please visit

It’s a health thing…we’ve got to understand!

About the Doctors: Dr. Karla and Dr. Rob are the founders of Urban Housecall, a multimedia health and wellness resource, and also hosts of the Urban Housecall Radio Show.  For more from the doctors, visit their website at, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter @urbanhousecall!