At the HiMSS16 conference earlier this month, Medisafe, a cloud-based mHealth platform for medication management, announced the launch of Medisafe Providers, enabling physicians, care teams, and pharmacists to track their patients' medication adherence between visits. Medisafe Providers extends the Medisafe platform beyond its consumer focus by empowering healthcare professionals to see how their treatment plans are working and to make any needed changes as soon as they identify a problem. To date Medisafe has worked to reduce the $300 billion annual cost of medication non-adherence by growing the patient user base of its mobile app to nearly 3 million, tailoring the experience to each individual's unique circumstances. CEO and Co-founder Omri Shor explains how this infrastructure has evolved to enable engagement across all members of a patient's care team:
Oliver Wyman Health: How did you get started? Where did you get your idea?
Omri Shor: Several years ago, my father, who is diabetic, didn’t remember when he last took his medication and accidently took an extra dose of insulin. Although it was a mistake, it could have been life threatening. We, my brother, Rotem, and I, decided to create something that made it easier for my father, and others struggling with medication adherence, to manage their medications and health better.
OWH: What problem are you working to solve? What’s your mission?
OS: We are tackling the $300 billion problem of medication non-adherence. Currently, only 50% of patients are correctly following their medication regimen. Our mission has evolved beyond improving adherence to be a medication management platform that helps transform behaviors, enable better care through richer data, and connect more points along the care continuum.
OWH: What’s your solution and how does it work?
OS: Medisafe, a personalized mHealth platform, helps patients stay on top of all their medications. Way more than a pill organizer (although it’s that, too), Medisafe makes it easy to adhere to the most complicated medication schedule. In addition, Medisafe connects users to their family (and their doctors) for support, encouragement, and expertise. It learns about each user’s unique situation, so it can deliver custom notifications for appointments and refills, medication updates, personalized health recommendations, and discounts to help you stay organized, informed, and on budget. And it tracks progress correlated with measurements like blood pressure and glucose levels to show the direct health benefit of taking meds as prescribed.
OWH: Who are your customers? How does your solution fit into the healthcare value chain?
OS: The patient is at the core of our solution. Medisafe focuses on the continuum of care, arming providers, payers, and pharmacies with details about patient adherence and related behaviors, so they can focus on the most at-risk patients at any point in time.
OWH: How does your solution help advance the shift to value-based care? What do your customers have to do differently in order to implement your solution?
OS: By addressing all the major root causes for failing to take medications as prescribed, Medisafe improves patient satisfaction and quality of care, and eliminates admissions and outpatient visits resulting from incorrect or missed doses. This helps all stakeholders in the care continuum use limited time and resources as efficiently as possible.
OWH: Where are you based? How has the area helped or hindered your development?
OS: Medisafe HQ is in Boston and our R&D center is based in Haifa, Israel. The company was founded in Israel, and expanded to the U.S. market over a year ago to grow our business here.
OWH: Where are you in the development process?
OS: Our solution is available for free on the App Store and Google Play. Medisafe’s more than 2.5 million users have recorded more than 300 million successful medication doses on their iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, leading to more than 100,000 user reviews that average 4.5 out of 5 stars in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
OWH: What are your recent milestones? What are your current projects and partnerships?
OS: In addition to our launch at HiMSS of Medisafe Providers, we have completed a study with IMS Health that showed a correlation between improved medication adherence and using Medisafe for all three of the conditions examined: hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes. We conducted our own research, which concluded that 40% of previously non-adherent users became adherent after adding a “Medfriend,” our social support feature that alerts caregivers when a prescribed medication dose isn’t registered in the Medisafe mobile app. We have recently announced a handful of partnerships with companies such as Human API and GoodRx. In December 2015, Medisafe announced a partnership with Omnicell, the leader in automated medication management in hospitals, by pairing Medisafe’s mobile app with Omnicell’s SureMed blister packaging, which combines all medication that needs to be taken at the same time in one, simple package.
OWH: What are your goals for 2016? What are the most pressing challenges to meeting those goals?
OS: Medisafe is growing fast – we plan on continuing to expand, providing the best solution for patients and their providers. In 2016, we will focus on the patient-provider relationship, and work on supporting the stakeholders in the care continuum to manage their time more efficiently and focus on the most at risk-patients.
OWH: What does the future of healthcare look like to you? What do you believe should be on the radar of other healthcare leaders that isn’t right now?
OS: As data becomes more accessible, healthcare will become more personalized. As apps and mobile devices become prevalent, we will see more collaboration between startups, healthcare providers, and other industry stakeholders. This will allow us to find and address gaps in healthcare faster and more efficiently.
OWH: What advice do you have for other startup leaders?
OS: Make sure to build a great team. Working with a team of passionate, creative people who want to make an impact is the most important part of our company culture.