A 2009 report from the New England Healthcare Institute found that patients failing to take medications as prescribed leads to poorer health, more frequent hospitalization, a higher risk of death and as much as $290 billion annually in increased medical costs.
With such a huge dollar figure hanging out there, it’s no wonder that a number of technology companies are developing software aimed at helping mobile-phone using patients better follow their physicians’ instructions. One such company is Cleveland’s Access Mobility, which has developed a mobile patient adherence system it calls CellepathicRx.
“People are starting to realize it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of ‘when’ with mobile health,” CEO and co-founder Greg Muffler said.
Muffler was hesitant to get into specifics of Cellepathic’s “secret sauce,” but suffice it to say, the app would send medication reminders and wellness tips to patients, as well as coupons and advertisements.
“At the end of the day, the drug company gets what they want — a full prescription life cycle,” Muffler said. “Patients get better outcomes and the pharmacy gets better store traffic, additional revenues and increased customer loyalty.”
Selling to pharmaceuticals companies is Access Mobility’s biggest opportunity, but retail pharmacies could also be lucrative customers, Muffler said.
He wouldn’t publicly identify any customers, but said that plans call for a drug company to launch a campaign within the next month. Access Mobility is also in negotiations with several other potential customers, including three contract research organizations. CROs, which obviously have a strong incentive to encourage patient adherence in clinical trials they’re running, could be another valuable client base for Access Mobility, Muffler said.
The 11-employee company has raised $1.8 million in angel funding so far, and is looking to land a subsequent investment round of up to $2 million. The company would use that cash to scale up, acquire international clients and boost its customer service and technology development, Muffler said.
Access Mobility was started in 2008, growing out of a health IT consulting firm, Exential, that Muffler also founded. Muffler and his cohorts correctly realized that the market for mobile apps would explode in subsequent years and they founded Access Mobility to take advantage of that trend.
Of course, other companies have recognized that mobile apps could be the perfect means of promoting better patient adherence, so the market is a crowded one, featuring the likes of WellDoc, iMedic8, Voxiva and Eveo.
Access Mobility differentiates itself via its “deep industry knowledge,” its ability to get a client-branded campaign to market quickly and its singular focus on patient adherence, according to Muffler. “This is all we do,” he said.