The Pillbug app icon, which is a simple drawing of a capsule pill with 6 legs protruding from the sides of it, resembling an insect.


In late 2022 my mom got into a pretty rough car accident. If you've ever had surgery you know that the post-op medication schedule can get very complex very quickly. She tried a few reminder solutions including the built in iOS health app reminders and the Reminders app, but none seemed to work for her. I identified a couple usage anti-patterns with these solutions:

  1. It's easy to see the reminder pop up, think something like "OK, I'll do that right after I finish what I'm doing now," mark it as complete and forget about it immediately. Which leads to...
  2. Seeing the reminder marked as completed is not a reliable signal that the medication was actually taken.

To try to solve these issues, I created Pillbug, an iOS medication journal.

To log a dose in Pillbug, you need to take a picture of your medication to show that you've taken it. This solves (1) by encouraging you to actually have the medication in hand before you log the reminder as complete. It also solves (2) by giving you a record of images to look back on to ensure you're staying on top of medications.

You can check out the app's site to read some more about the app's goals and see screenshots.

I built Pillbug using Swift and SwiftUI. I used The Composable Architecture to simplify the app's state management and manage dependencies on system level functions. I find SwiftUI+TCA remarkably similar to React+Redux, and think both stacks are very powerful at creating complex yet cohesive applications while keeping the code organized.