What are Your Medicines Saying to You?
The Talking Rx gives a voice to prescription medicines.
By Rochelle Caviness - June 30, 2001
When taking prescription medicines, it is vitally important that you take the right amounts at the right time. For individuals with vision impairments, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to read the prescription's instructions. Therefore, they have to rely upon their memory, or upon other people to remind them when and how they are suppose to take their medicines. Another problem faced by individuals with visual impairments is that even when they know how much, or when to take a particular medicine, they may still have difficulty telling various medicines apart. With the introduction of the Talking Rx, individuals with vision, or reading, impairments now have the option of having the medicine's name, and instructions, read aloud to them, as often and whenever they want.
The Talking Rx is an ingenious device that contains a recording device. Your doctor, or your pharmacist, can record a short, 60 second message into the device, and you can easily replay the message by pushing an external button. The message can contain any pertinent information that you need to know about the mediation, such as its name, when it should be taken, how often, and if you need to take it with food, or the like. Basically, any information desired can be recorded.
The Talking Rx is a small cup like device that is about 1 1/2 inches tall. It comes in a variety of sizes, and it is designed to fit securely around the bottom of standard prescription medicine bottles. This device contains a small digital recorder that has an audible playback voice. To activate the recording, all you need do is to depress a raised, red button that is found on the front of the device. To record or change a message, you have to access an recessed button that cannot be accidently activated. You have to use a small object, like a paper clip, to activate the recording mechanism. Therefore, you do not have to worry that the message will be erased if you handle or drop the device. The Talking Rx runs off of three watch batteries, is waterproof, it can be used over and over again, and sells for under twenty dollars.
While I have not actually seen one of the Talking Rx's, I have talked to several people who have, and their response has been unanimously positive. I'm told that it is very easy to use, has good sound quality, and holds onto the medicine bottles tightly, so that you do not have to worry about the bottle becoming detached from the Talking Rx.
The Talking Rx has the potential of saving countless lives by helping prevent people from improperly taking medications. Mistakes can easily occur if you are visually impaired or if you have reading difficulties, simply because you cannot easily read the instructions. To help eliminate the risks posed by taking prescription medicines incorrectly, I'd recommend that you talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the possibility of using the Talking Rx. Be sure to inquire if they can suggest any other methods available that will help insure that you know exactly what you are taking, and when and how it should be taken.
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