Before I knew about the Transplant Hero App & PillSuite, & while I’m waiting for Dr. Poket, I found the Tricella smart pillbox. When it came to me I decided it was too small for me to use every day. I figured it still might work for travel or just for my vitamins alone. So I decided to try it out.
I was deeply disappointed, because this was obviously a device that was rushed to launch. I will say that Tricella did end up refunding me & letting me keep the device after I explained to them what the issue was. So their customer service on Facebook on a weekend was fast & attentive.
But here’s the crux of the issue. While attractive & easy to use, there was no guide to the app itself. No information in support on how to customize or change data once information was entered. Even if I had entered everything perfectly from the start, down the line I might be taken off some medications, so I would need to know how to delete or edit a medication already entered from within the app.
I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure that out.
This was extremely frustrating. Sometimes I had to reboot 3 times to get it to work without firing off an error. (Thus, entering my own meds [less than 10] & testing this device took me around 2 hours when all was said & done just to set one alarm.)
Most apps have an accompanying website cloud to make changes if you prefer to make edits that way from a notebook or desktop versus the app or phone itself. Or as a backup if there’s a problem with the app. There was no such help with this device.
Tricella acknowledges their support for the app & troubleshooting the device is lacking & they thanked me for pointing this out to them.
The device itself was easy to use and the button battery installed much easier than some devices. The cleaning instructions were thorough which is important.
But when you’re trying to manage 8-20 meds for a parent or yourself there has to be an easy way to make changes & updates.
The final straw was when at 1o:15pm my Propeller app triggered my notifications to take my inhalers but the alarm I had set for the day to be sure I had taken all my meds for the day by 10PM on the Tricella failed to text or alert me as it should.
Also while the Tricella app did allow for putting how many pills were in a bottle as well as the dosing (which was nice), it was a little confusing as to how to go about setting multiple alarms as I was entering my medications.
This is another instance where a guide or some support would have been nice or even a walkthrough tutorial option within the app would have helped.
I use a lot of these devices so if I’m confused I know someone who had limited experience with devices like this would be incredibly frustrated.
I firmly believe that if you are marketing a device to help people remember to take their medications or help loved ones to be able to follow up on that, then the device must promise on what it delivers.
It’s not good enough to show these features on the packaging but not have them translate or even fail to trigger the most basic alert features in real time.
I was excited to use this but ultimately I had to offer to return it because it wasn’t working. They did issue me a refund which I appreciated but also let me keep it.
I told them I would try later if they do push through an update because it might work for travel for a few days or for my vitamins or for a family member or friend if we can get it working. But I was deeply disappointed.
I think this is where user testing prior to launching such a device is critical & testing must be done by many people with different needs.
It may delay release but in the end I think people would rather wait longer for a functional device than something that over promises but in the end under delivers & under performs.
It’s hard for me to be so critical on devices like these because I’ve been clamoring for them to be made available & affordable without monthly usage fees as many of these types of the early devices are. (One example of this is the MedMinder systems which are marketed towards caregivers.)
This is a strength of the Tricella device as it’s at a much more reasonable price point than some devices. It was over my usual $50 budget but not by much (this was $74.99) & way more reasonable cost wise than systems like the HERO. It was also lower profile.
But that equates to nothing if it doesn’t even follow through on delivering the most basic & critical of functions it promises to assist with.
[I put together a slideshow of the unboxing.]
(DISCLAIMER: I was not paid by this company or sent a free device. I ordered it on my own from the company. I thought doing a review might be a useful way to share information with others who might be interested or needing such a device for their own personal health issues. This analysis in no way constitutes medical advice or product endorsement. I try to keep the devices I select for personal use, profiling, & reviewing in an affordable price range. Often $50 or less where possible. If they are more expensive I make that clear & try to point out their practicality & uniqueness in assisting me with my personal health tracking.)