#OliveSavvy: A New Way to Manage Medication - TowerView Health
How often do you think you forget to do something? Forget to send that email, grab those keys on the way out the door, take out the trash on Tuesdays? It’s human nature to have the little things just slip your mind. But after talking to our MakeOffice neighbors, TowerView Health, we learned that for some forgetting a very important task, taking medication, can be costly.
During co-founder Nick Valilis’ first week of medical school, he was diagnosed with cancer. The 22-year-old suddenly had to remember to adhere strict regimen of medications. His roommate and fellow co-founder of TowerView Health, Rahul Jain, took notice of the sudden difficulty Nick was facing and realized there must be a simpler way.
“Nick struggled to manage his meds, and we quickly learned he wasn't the only one with this problem,” Jain said. “1 in 3 Americans suffer from a chronic illness that requires multiple meds and only 50% of patients take their meds as prescribed, which results in $100 billion in avoidable hospitalizations. atients deserve a better system and we wanted to provide that peace of mind to them and their families.”
So, Valilis and Jain along with Ankur Aggarwal and Hareesh Ganesan decided to create TowerView Health. With its smart pillboxes, the Towerview service helps patients manage their medications with pre-filled trays that “fit into [the pillbox] like a K-Cup into a Keurig coffee machine.” Its sensors can pick up on when a patient has forgotten to take a dose, and in response sends texts and phone reminders to the patients, case managers, and loved ones.
“We've focused on simplicity,” Jain said. “It's a simple solution toa very complex problem. We thought there wasn't an existin ervice that was simple enough for chronically ill patients to help them manage their meds, so that's why we started TowerView Health.”
The group has found a way to make their assistive device free for its users by aligning incentives between insurance companies and pharmacies. The pillbox is very easy to use with labels outlining the days of the week and the patient’s schedule. If the patient misses a day, a blue light will light up the specific slot they missed. It also keeps track of the patient’s history of dosage and missed days so the patient’s clinicians, case managers, and pharmacists can get personalized data to then work one on one with the user through a dashboard.
The TowerView Health team has been able to take an innovative idea and grow it into a budding medical device company that can help revolutionize the management of chronic illness. This is no easy task, and Jain shares what he has learned in the process.
“Creating a company is obviously very difficult, and we're figuring it out as we go,” Jain said. “The most important thing I've learned so fa is to surround yourself with an incredible team and to keep persevering through all the failures. I feel like for every success there were 1,000 failures, but that's just part of the process.”
TowerView Health has already partnered with Independence Blue Cross and is beginning a six month randomized trial for diabetic patients. If you’re a healthcare organization who wants to improve medical adherence, you can email TowerView Health from their website!