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AdhereTech: Making Pill Counting Easy
Medication adherence, not a term you hear every day, refers to patients taking the proper amount of medicine at the proper times. It doesn't happen as much as it should.
AdhereTech, a young startup that has created technology to help individuals take the proper dosages at the correct intervals, estimates that medication adherence is roughly 60%, which leads to hundreds of millions, if not billions, of wasted healthcare dollars every year.
AdhereTech has created patented smart pill bottles that aim to increase medication adherence. Founder and CEO Josh Stein, 28, said, "Our bottles measure the exact number of pills or liquid in the bottle in real-time, and wirelessly send this HIPAA-compliant data into the cloud, and remind patients to take their medication via phone call or text."
Stein continued, "We are disrupting the traditional boring old orange pill bottle. AdhereTech's goal is to use these pieces of hardware, pill bottles, to their full potential."
The idea was born in 2011 at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where Stein completed his MBA this spring. The idea was accepted into the Blueprint Health accelerator program, one of the top healthcare accelerators.
The program provided the company with $20,000 cash, $50,000 in services, office space in New York City, mentorship, and access to contacts in business and healthcare. "Since we started Blueprint, we've been working on the business all day every day, and we couldn't be happier," he said.
Stein has licensed one patent and filed additional patents that cover the company's technology. "This patent covers the use of capacitance in a pill bottle to determine the contents of the bottle," Stein explained. "Capacitance is the same technology that exists in your smartphone that determines when you touch the screen. We wrap the capacitance sensors around the outside of the bottle so that the medicines never touch the sensors. Then, we use 3G to send the data into the cloud."
One of the most exciting projects for AdhereTech is an upcoming study in conjunction with the United States Army, scheduled for 2013 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. AdhereTech hopes to help wounded soldiers and others recover more efficiently.
AdhereTech is, in Stein's words, "focused on establishing partnerships with large pharmaceutical and insurance companies." These innovations may signal the imminent demise of the orange pill bottle, and with it, all of those leftover pills that many of us have failed to take.