The Independence Blue Cross (Independence) Center for Health Care Innovation announced this week that it will collaborate with TowerView Health and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Medicine) on a pilot program to help chronically ill people who have multiple prescriptions make sure they take the right medication at the right time each day.
People with health coverage from Independence Blue Cross who qualify for this study and choose to participate will be enrolled at no cost in a six month-long randomized pilot program directed by Penn Medicine researchers to evaluate if the program improves their medication adherence.
The participants will be divided into two groups:
– pilot group that receives help with medication adherence
– control group that receives no medication assistance.
TowerView will provide individuals in the study with five prefilled medication trays, each holding a week’s supply of medication. The tray fits inside an Internet-connected pillbox that can sense when members miss a dose of their medication and sends them reminders by phone, text, or email. For members without a cell phone, the pillbox is also equipped with lights and alarms to remind members to take their drugs. An integrated software platform notifies the Penn Medicine research coordinator when members haven’t been taking their medication over a period of time so that they can call to see if members need any additional assistance. TowerView’s services are sponsored by Independence and Penn Medicine.
TowerView Health Background
TowerView Health was founded in 2014 by four students after their college roommate and cofounder, Nick Valilis, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia during his first week of medical school. They created TowerView to help Valilis better manage his medications and hope the same approach can help others who take multiple medications. In 2014, TowerView participated in DreamIt Health to fine-tune its business model and meet potential customers.
TowerView is one of 11 startup companies that participated in the 2014 DreamIt Health Philadelphia class. Independence and Penn Medicine jointly sponsor the DreamIt Health new business accelerator and will sponsor the third annual DreamIt Health program, which began accepting applications for new participants this month. DreamIt Health will select up to 10 early-stage companies from applicants from around the world in the healthcare sector, based on the strength of their teams, their market potential, and their traction to date. In addition to a financial stipend, Dreamit Health provides these promising young companies with mentoring, business contacts, and other critical resources, including access to claims and clinical data and technology the companies need to shape and implement novel solutions.
In addition, TowerView won the 2015 HIMSS Venture+ Forum pitch competition held on April 12 in Chicago. HIMSS is the largest healthcare conference in the country that brings together over 38,000 health care IT professionals from around the world. Of the companies that applied for the competition, 15 startups were chosen to pitch live in front of a health care specific judging panel and audience of venture capitalists and strategic partners.
One third to one half of all patients in the United States do not take their medication as directed, resulting in less than desirable outcomes and nearly $100 billion in avoidable hospital costs each year. Taking medication as directed is particularly difficult for people who are managing two or more chronic illnesses at the same time, like diabetes and high blood pressure.