Medisafe founders, Omri and Rotem Shor, first realized the need for their app when they witnessed their father accidentally overdose on his insulin medication. Fortunately, the Shor brothers were able to act quickly enough to save their father but that moment made them think differently about the medical industry and an app on a smart device could potentially keep accidental overdoses from happening.
In an interview with Jon Michaeli, Medisafe EVP of Marketing and Business Development, Michaeli spoke about the large number of prescription medications that are not taken properly in the United States.
“About fifty percent of patients don’t take their medications as prescribed,” Michaeli said. “This results in 700,000 (overdoses) and underdoses emergencies a year. 125,000 deaths and almost $300 billion to the health system by patients being readminestered to the hospital and having advanced procedures. Things like that. Things that can be avoided or stalled.”
One way that the Medisafe app helps users keep up with their medication is through a simple and easy-to-use design that allows multiple pill schedules, reminders to refill, and also checks surrounding pharmacies on the best price for each medication.
Users know what pills they have taken, when they took them, what they missed, and the app can also provide other information that helps physicians and other medical professionals track the user’s progress with their medication. Michaeli said that the app helps share information between the patients and doctors.
“So patients not only show their doctors their phones, which they do, but they also share the reports with them via email or they print them out and bring those to the doctor’s office,” Michaeli said. “We know this is happening because we see a lot of feedback from the users and telling us they shared it with their doctor or telling us [MediSafe] was recommended by their physician. Either the physician found out about the app on their own or through another patient.”
This is another reason the Shor brothers saw Medisafe as a necessity. Medical professionals and patients should have the most information and data about their prescriptions. The Shor brothers also want to make sure that their app keeps this private information private, and Michaeli stated that security is always a primary concern for the team at Medisafe.
“We take it extremely seriously,” Michaeli said. “We use, what I would call, the leading practices with respect to encryption of data and security of that data. We know that this is (Protected Health Information). We are a HIPPA-compliant platform and we provide guidance to our users on how to safeguard this data. Everything is also backed up in the cloud and not relying on the device as the storage mechanism.”
When asked why Medisafe was an important app for users, Michaeli responded that it was about getting all of the important information to the user. Rather than focusing on a specific demographic or age range, the team at Medisafe wanted to create an app centered around a basic need: creating a prescription app that provides the best information to the user and to medical professionals.
“We talk about an aging population, people taking more and more medication all of the time, blockbuster medications going off-patent and becoming more affordable. There are a lot of reasons why putting together a solution for non-adherence that sits in the patient’s’ hands as the one who is empowered with the tools and the resources to get some change. That’s very much needed.”
The Medisafe app is available on Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded for free.