By Frannie Raede, MPH, PhD, program manager, commercial development, Pillo Health.
In the U.S., 25% to 50% of all adults fail to take their prescribed medications on time, contributing to poor health outcomes, over-utilization of healthcare services, and significant cost increases. Failing to follow prescribed treatment regimens can have tragic consequences for patients and their families, and lead to complaints filed against pharmacists and physicians. One study estimates that medication non-adherence causes approximately 125,000 deaths and 10% of hospitalizations annually, and costs the U.S. healthcare system up to $289 billion each year.
Forgetfulness is the primary cause of non-adherence, but there are many other reasons why a patient doesn’t follow a treatment protocol, such as carelessness, fear, supply, cost, lack of information, or not understanding instructions.
Medication non-adherence is too costly to ignore, both in terms of the price to our healthcare system and the overall health and wellbeing of our nation. As the U.S. population ages, the problem will become more acute, with a greater number of older adults battling chronic diseases and conditions.
So, what can be done to reverse the trend?
Current adherence measurements do not paint a clear picture of medication habits, which can impact progress (or lack thereof) relayed between a patient and their provider.
The most frequently used measure of adherence is the Medication Possession Ratio (MPR), where an 80% MPR is considered passing. This is defined as the number of days in supply period, over the difference between the first and last fill dates. MPR ranges from 0 to 1, with 1 representing full adherence. The possession ratio is equal to the total day’s supply fill in a period, divided by the number of days in a period. This ratio is then multiplied by 100 to obtain the percentage of possession.
In theory, an 80% MPR means a patient is taking most of the medication they are prescribed during a certain time frame, but this measurement is not precise. The calculations are usually based on insurance claims data, and therefore do not account for the use of free samples or regimen changes. They also do not provide information beyond possession—for instance, if the medication was taken, if the correct dose was used, or if it was taken at the right time.
These measurements often assume that patients are taking their medications correctly just because they picked them up from the pharmacy. To provide optimal care, healthcare providers need to better understand their patients’ medication behaviors so they can track progress and intervene when necessary, especially in cases where it’s essential a medication is taken correctly to protect a patient’s health.
Pillo Health, a Boston-based technology company for patients managing their health at home, announced that is has secured $11 million in funding from leading venture investors to complete its Series-A round. The capital will be used to drive growth and innovation as Pillo Health builds out its voice-enabled medication and care management platform for the home.
Six in 10 Americans live with at least one chronic condition, a leading driver of healthcare costs across the country. Medication non-adherence amounts up to $289 billion in wasted costs annually and leads to a higher mortality rate in the United States.
Pillo Health offers partner organizations an engaging in-home interface and HIPAA-compliant technology platform to create customized voice-first health and wellness experiences; empowering them to deliver better care into the home, enhancing patient connections to their care teams, and aligning with the growing trend of voice-enabled technologies in the healthcare industry.
This round of funding was led by Stanley Black & Decker’s corporate venture capital arm with significant participation from Samsung Ventures. Existing investors, including BioAdvance, Hikma Ventures – the corporate venture capital arm of Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (LSE:HIK) – Hackensack Meridien Health System’s Innovation Center Fund and Civilization Ventures, also participated. Pillo Health will use the funds to continue development of its HIPAA-compliant technology platform and to develop additional voice-first experiences for partners to deliver digital health solutions into the home. The company is also currently hiring in its Boston, MA and Genoa, Italy, offices.
“We look forward to the continued evolution of the Pillo Health platform as we work with organizations addressing the management of chronic conditions for patients at home,” said Emanuele Musini, Co-founder and CEO of Pillo Health. “Stanley Black & Decker and Samsung have made a strong commitment to the health and wellness of millions of Americans looking to remain independent longer, with a focus on tailoring voice-first technologies for their customers and revolutionizing the way healthcare is delivered into the home.”
Pillo Health and Stanley Black & Decker are also jointly launching Pria by BLACK+DECKER in the U.S. later this year. Pria is powered by the Pillo Health platform and will be available for consumers to purchase in late summer online, with additional distribution channels to follow.
Larry Harper, vice president of Stanley Ventures, stated that “Pillo and Pria represent an important and growing strategic focus for our organization as we continue to find ways to help seniors age in place at home and enjoy their later years in familiar surroundings. The partnership between Pillo Health and Stanley Black & Decker is strong, and together we expect to have a large impact on the senior healthcare market with more innovations on the horizon.”
Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we do things in all areas in your life, including in healthcare. It plays a big role in the healthcare industry because it can help providers diagnose and treat their patients quicker and more efficiently, eliminating the frustration caused by trial and error. Technology in health care is also changing the way patients can take control over their health while keeping a close eye on progress and achievements.
Pillo is a voice-activated companion that tells you when you’re supposed to take your next dose of medication while dispensing it for you, storing up to 28 days’ worth. This health device is also a hands-free assistant who responds to your voice and/or touch. He can tell you the weather forecast, keep track of your schedule with reminders, set alarms and timers, and tell you nutritional information on foods. If you want a loved one to know how you’re doing, Pillo can keep them notified about when you took your medications and any missed doses with your permission.
Pillo Health, a Boston-based company bringing medication adherence to the forefront of healthcare, announces the launch of Pillo, a voice-activated in-home companion with facial recognition that lets consumers better manage their health and stay connected to their caregivers. Pillo helps users better adhere to medication regimens, reminding them about dosages at set times, and offers them research-backed care plans to remain active and empowered in improving their health.
Six in 10 Americans live with at least one chronic condition, a leading driver of healthcare costs across the country. Adhering to medication to treat those conditions is especially challenging for those who have detailed, regimented care plans to follow. Medication non-adherence amounts up to $289 billion in wasted costs annually and a higher mortality rate in the U.S.
“Pillo is redefining how the industry addresses medication non-adherence and is giving people some of their independence back,” said Emanuele Musini, CEO of Pillo Health. “Managing chronic conditions can create immense stress on patients and their families as day-to-day care plans can be difficult to follow and time-consuming. I wanted to create an in-home companion that helped alleviate this issue, which impacts millions of lives, particularly in the aging baby boomer population.”
Pillo provides the following core services:
Medication Management – Pillo stores and dispenses 28 doses of medication and reminds users when to take their medications to keep them on track. Pillo also reorders medications automatically before they run out.
Care Plan Delivery – Pillo delivers important instructions to users to help them stay adherent to prescribed care plans by pushing personalized health content to patients at home. Pillo can play videos on its high definition screen or recite health information via voice.
Pillo Insights – Pillo analyzes real-time health data in order to extract valuable insights from inside the home. Pillo also serves as a connection between the caregiver and patient, by notifying the caregiver if the patient missed a dose of medication and connecting them via video.
Pillo, which is HIPAA-compliant and registered as an FDA Class 1 medical device, is already attracting attention in the healthcare community. The company received funding from Hackensack Meridian Health System’s Innovation Center fund, focused on helping the startup commercialize and go-to-market in the acute care space. The company also completed an in-home test focused on diabetes management in partnership with AARP.