Smart Pill Bottle Startup Raises $1.2M, Relocates to Tulsa, Oklahoma

PatchRx, a medication management startup, improves prescription adherence and helps patients remember to take their medication through data-driven technology. Today, the company announced a $1.2M pre-seed round and moved its operations to Tulsa, Oklahoma, joining the growing number of startups that have relocated to the city over the past year. The company’s second capital raise was led by Atento Capital, followed by Cortado Ventures, and the Gaingels Network.

According to the World Health Organization, poor medication adherence can account for up to 25% of hospitalizations and approximately 125,000 deaths every year in the United States. PatchRx has developed and patented the first universal smart pill bottle device to ensure that patients regularly take the right doses and help pharmacies play an active role in encouraging medication adherence.

The company’s patient-facing services notify users when to take medications and operate as an all-encompassing health tracker – “a personal EMR for patients.” Patients can also request refills from any PatchRx-registered pharmacy and collect rewards through the mobile app. Clinicians are also notified when doses are missed, allowing for real-time, effective monitoring of daily adherence.

PatchRx was founded by two students at Trinity University in San Antonio, each with deeply personal connections to medication adherence.

“When Gavin and I first met, his grandfather had recently passed away due to a medication non-adherence issue. And not long after, I was diagnosed with cancer and learned firsthand how overwhelming it could be to manage multiple prescriptions,” said Andrew Aertker, co-founder of PatchRx. “From that point on, we were focused on easing the burden that patients and families feel from managing medications. After several successful early launches of our smart pill bottle caps and software platform, we’re thrilled to be taking our company to the next level in Tulsa.”

PatchRx’s technology has been deployed by independent pharmacies and health systems in research studies across Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma, providing them with digital infrastructure to compete with national chains. The startup expects to be working with up to 40 pharmacies by next month. PatchRx will use the capital to build out its enterprise software and national sales teams, helping to grow and introduce its platform to pharmacies across North America.

“Andrew and Gavin’s experiences with medication adherence prove that PatchRx isn’t just a business, it’s personal,” said Michael Basch, managing partner at Atento Capital. “We’re glad to see PatchRx take its potential to drive patient outcomes to the next level, and we’re beyond excited they’re choosing to do it in Tulsa.”

Over the last year, dozens of startup companies have relocated or expanded to Tulsa, and  hundreds of remote workers and tech entrepreneurs have moved to the city. PatchRx joins a growing cohort of early-stage virtual health companies in the city, including Sway Medical, which captures patient’s balance and cognitive data to help healthcare professionals make decisions, and TeleVet, a telemedicine platform for veterinarians, among others.

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