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iRxReminder in the News

Medcity Angel Article

Medcity Angel Article
Mar 7, 2014

iRx Reminder gets $250K to make an app, device & web portal a trifecta for better care compliance

A health IT startup developing a three-piece system to keep patients engaged and on track with their medication regimens says a Washington D.C.-based angel group has committed $250,000 in seed funding to it.

It’s been a long, slow haul for iRx Reminder, which formed back in 2009. But Larry Tusick, vice president for business development, said he thinks the market is finally ready for what iRx Reminder is offering.

“Our position hasn’t changed much, but the world’s has,” he said.

Its product is a smartphone app and software as a service intended to keep people who are very sick on track with their regimens by delivering surveys, educational materials, medication reminders and tasks to their phones. Meanwhile, clinicians can log into an online dashboard to keep tabs on how those patients are doing remotely and alter medication dosing if necessary.

With the new funding, Tusick said, the team is also hoping to advance the third component of its system beyond the prototype phase. That would be an electronic pill dispenser that communicates with the app to track when people take their medicines. It’s a class 1 medical device, and the company hopes to file for FDA clearance by the end of the year.

The last time we checked in with the Akron, Ohio-based company in the summer of 2012, it had its sights set on selling to the clinical trial market as a way to encourage adherence in clinical trial participants and correct noncompliance early on. But Tusick said that as ACOs become more prevalent and payers continue to take on the risk of high costs associated with patients who are very sick, they would also find tremendous value in it.

That’s a fair point, albeit one that numerous other companies have thought of, too. The medication adherence market is already awash with everything from smart pill bottles to apps. There won’t be room for everyone, but Tusick said iRx already has a handful of health system customers and is currently planning a pilot study at a nearby children’s hospital that will evaluate the system with children who have had a bone marrow transplant. Tusick also emphasized the bidirectional nature of the platform — in contrast to solutions that just push reminders to patients, the company’s product is designed to facilitate two-way communication and integrate in real time with a physician’s EHR system.

Noncompliance with medication regiments has been estimated to cost the U.S. as much as $289 billion a year.

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