Medication dispenser

Ōmcare secures 3rd patent for remote audiovisual medication dispenser

BURNSVILLE, MN (July 31, 2019) — Ōmcare, LLC announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued Ōmcare’s third patent (U.S. Patent No. 10,347,377) for the company’s web-enabled, audiovisual, medication-dispensing telemedicine system for the home.

The Ōmcare Telemed System gives caregivers of all types – from physicians, pharmacists, and home care providers or family members – the ability to see and speak to elderly or disabled dependents and to confirm compliance with medication treatment plans from anywhere. The easy-to-use Ōmcare system is designed to facilitate remote monitoring via visual confirmation of a patient’s actions, which supports telehealth and virtual care services and gives family members greater peace of mind.

The addition of this patent will allow Ōmcare to bring products to market that meet the growing demand for remote monitoring technology that supports the long-term goals of improving patient outcomes, medication adherence, and quality of life.

“Our mission is to give caregivers of all types – from physicians, pharmacists, home care providers, and families – the ability to see, speak to, and confirm that patients and loved ones are following their care plans,” said Lisa Lavin, founder and CEO of Ōmcare. “Ōmcare extends the reach of caregivers into the home and promises real medication adherence.”

Lavin, a serial entrepreneur and technology innovator, created Ōmcare after realizing the potential for marrying advances in two-way, remote communications technology with the growing need and consumer demand for in-home care and aging in place. This is the fourth patent for Lavin, who holds three related patents for audiovisual and dispensary capabilities.

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For more information: Barbara Tabor, APR / (651) 230-9192 / barbara@taborpr.com

About Ōmcare Ōmcare is a health technology company focused on extending the reach of caregivers, increasing medication adherence, and improving treatment outcomes by harnessing the power of remote care and two-way video technology. By partnering with pharmacies, payers, providers, and family caregivers, Ōmcare strives to help people live healthier, more vibrant, independent lives. Learn more at www.omcare.com. Follow on Twitter (@Omcare_Health) and on LinkedIn.


Connected Care

Top 3 reasons connected care requires telehealth

Interest in telehealth is increasing rapidly around the world, including here in the U.S. In fact, the telehealth market has grown over 250% since 2015 and is expected to exceed 15% CAGR* through 2025. This growth is attributed tech-enabled services and a regulatory environment that has started to embrace virtual connected care options.

The Health Resources Services Administration defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. And while many consumers are just now becoming familiar with the term, it is most often understood as two-way video interactions with doctors or other medical professionals.

#1 - Telehealth is a conduit to enabling value based care

Telehealth has traditionally been considered by CMS as a stop-gap for people with access issues, either in rural area or constrained by limited mobility. A number of progressive health systems that are leading the shift to value based or outcomes based payment see telehealth as a critical component to keeping people healthy, especially seniors with multiple conditions who tend to be heavy utilizers.

#2 - The shortage of caregivers will strain an already strained system.

And for those in the Home Health business, incorporating more frequent remote touchpoints using video-enabled technology along with in-home visits aligns with a desire to create a tighter community of caregivers while offering a response to the new and growing shortage of qualified caregivers. By 2050, there will be 19 million Americans over the age of 85. At the same time, the number of available caregivers is projected to stay constant or decrease.

#3 - Cost avoidance and increased patient satisfaction is more possible.

Ultimately, weaving telehealth into the tapestry of the full healthcare continuum addresses everything from cost avoidance to better outcomes and greater patient satisfaction. And the data proves it. Organizations that embrace technology as a way to define patient needs and deliver personalized care will weather payment system transitions and demographic shifts much more successfully that those unwilling to see the shortcomings of the status quo.

At Ōmcare, we’re building the tele of telehealth right into our core of what we do. From connecting people to integrating a myriad of point solutions and remote monitoring technologies, we can help realize healthier, more affordable outcomes more quickly. Now, that’s healthy. In more ways than one.


What is medication non-adherence? Health and financial risks

Medication non-adherence. It’s a big problem. People are not taking the right pill at the right time. The health and financial risks associated with medication non-adherence impacts individuals, families and caregivers. Today, millions of people depend on others for their medications and, for those who manage multiple medications, it can be complicated and confusing. For many people, loved ones can’t always be there to keep track.

The Financial and Health Risks

Nearly 37% of seniors take 5 or more medications and one out of every ten seniors hospitalized are the result of the consumption of ill-timed, mistaken, or missed medication. The cost of medication non-adherence exceeds $300B and more than 125,000* deaths annually in the United States. That’s a high price to pay for both  individuals and the healthcare system more broadly.

In addition to all of this information, it’s important to call attention to the cost of non-adherence at a more personal level, as oftentimes the expense of not taking medications shows up indirectly. The National Council Medical Director Institute published a report in September, 2018 stating that “medication non-adherence accounts for 30-50 percent of treatment failures and 10-25 percent of all hospital and nursing home admissions.” A host of other expenses from the ambulance to the Emergency Room are triggered by non-adherence. These unplanned expenses can be devastating for individuals living on a fixed income, and put additional financial pressure on Medicare and other public programs.  

As it relates to better health, the cost of ill-planned or timed drug interactions means risking outcomes that could be debilitating to the patient in more ways than one. For many chronic conditions, improved health outcomes are difficult without proper adherence. A Network for Excellent in Health Innovation (NEHI) study showed that non-adherence could be tied back to an increased risk of hospitalization, while also providing evidence that mortality rate for heart disease and diabetes was 12.1 percent for non-adherence patients compared to 6.7 for adherent patients.** This is just one example of the implications of non-adherence reported in a specific population.

Reducing the Risks

So what can we do to reduce these risks? Several options are: increase access to or engaging the services of a paid caregiver, add more frequent communication with your provider to monitor your adherence activity, or find a technology-enabled medication assistance solution that your loved one can manage on their own. Since most people are reluctant to admit their shortcomings in taking their meds, it’s often unclear when non-adherence has become a liability.  

Trust in Ōmcare

That’s why Ōmcare was created: to address medication non-adherence and offer remote care solutions through simple, face-to-face interactions and monitored remote pill dispensing that  reduces the risk to financial and personal health outcomes. With Ōmcare you have remote, visual confirmation of adherence and a complete medication history that gives caregivers peace of mind, and provides better information for physicians and nurses to treat and diagnose.  

Stay up to date with the latest from Omcare and the release of the Telemed System by subscribing to our email.

Sources:

*https://www.nacds.org/news/the-cost-of-medication-non-adherence/

**Network for Excellence in Health Innovation. (2016, September). Better Uses of Medicines for Diabetes Patients. Retrieved from https://www.nehi.net/writable/publication_files/file/better_use_of_medicine_for_patients_wieth_diabetes_nehi_9.8.2016.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3934668/


Healthcare innovation startups: most successful companies of the last 10 years

Today, the healthcare startup scene is booming. With 2018 projected to be the biggest year for investing for the healthcare industry, the future appears promising as more and more groundbreaking companies emerge into the field with bold strategies for solving problems.

However, the healthcare startup landscape wouldn’t be so prosperous without the prominent startups that emerged from the earlier days and succeeded. As the list of startups continues to grow, here are seven of the most successful healthcare startups of the last 10 years.

AbbVie

Headquartered in North Chicago, this biopharmaceutical company was founded in 2013 by Richard Gonzales. Abbvie, which originated as a spin-off of Abbott Laboratories combines advanced science, expertise, and passion to solve serious health issues, which has had a huge impact on people’s lives all around the world. AbbVie currently has ~29,000 employees in over 175 countries and made $28.2 billion in revenue. 

Privia Health

A physician practice management and population health technology company, Privia Health works towards keeping people healthy, preventing disease, and improving care coordination both in and outside of the doctor’s office. The private company incorporates key partnerships with employers, health systems and technology, team based-care, and a unique wellness programs to help them on their mission.

Adaptive Biotechnologies

A pioneer and leader in combining high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics to profile T-cell and B-cell receptors, Adaptive Biotechnologies definitely belongs on this list due to their influence and work within the healthcare sphere. Their immunosequencing platform drives groundbreaking research in cancer and other immune-mediated diseases, which they hope to use to improve patient care and clinical diagnostics.

WeDoctor  

Dubbed the “Amazon of healthcare,” WeDoctor is the one of the world’s leading medical health technology platforms. Based in China and founded in 2010 by Jerry Liao Jieyuan, WeDoctor works towards addressing the problem of China’s underfunded and overstretched hospitals. Currently WeDoctor has more than 150 million registered users in China for their online appointment booking, prescription, and diagnostic services. The privately held company is valued at $5.5 billion.

Moderna Therapeutics

Moderna Therapeutics works towards creating MRNA medicines for a wide range of diseases and conditions. Based in Cambridge, MA, the company uses mRNA medicines which allows them to take advantage of normal biological processes to create a desired therapeutic effect. Because of this, they can treat a broad spectrum of diseases, some of which do not have current therapies. Moderna Therapeutics was valued as high as $5B in 2017 by some analysts.

Reata Pharmaceuticals

Reata Pharmaceuticals is biopharmaceutical company that develops drugs for cancer, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. Reata’s mission is to identify, develop, and commercialize novel therapeutics to address serious and life-threatening diseases with few or no approved therapies by targeting molecular pathways that regulate cellular metabolism and inflammation. Reata’s lead product candidates, bardoxolone methyl and omaveloxolone, are Nrf2 activators, which are a transcription factor for restoring mitochondrial function, reducing oxidative stress, and resolving inflammation.

Vezeeta

Vezeeta.com is the leading digital healthcare booking platform and practice management software in MENA that works towards helping the shift towards automated physician, clinic, and hospital bookings to make healthcare more accessible in the region. With over 200,000 verified reviews, patients are able to search, compare, and book the best doctors for them through Vezeeta.

Ōmcare

Our mission isn’t to capitalize on the booming healthcare market, but to push the industry’s success even further with our technology and forward-thinking philosophy. With the Ōmcare Telemed System, we are looking to tackle the problem of medication non-adherence. Of all prescriptions that are filled, 50% are taken incorrectly by the patient. Furthermore, there are 125,000 deaths each year and over $300 billion lost in healthcare costs annually.

At Ōmcare, we are driven to extend the reach of caregivers while enabling face-to-face care from anywhere. Through our technology and innovation, we are actively working towards decreasing the cost of care and empowering patients of all types. We can do what no one else has done before: deliver real medication adherence. We partner with pharmacies, payers, providers, and family caregivers to help people live a healthy, indiependent, and vibrant life no matter their situation.

To stay up to date on the latest news from us, as well as the release of our Telemed System, subscribe to our email.


E Pill vs Med Minder vs GMS Med-e-lert (+ alternatives & reviews)

Medication non-adherence is a serious problem. In fact, it has been linked to many poor health outcomes, including increased hospitalizations and even death. Medication non-adherence ultimately ends up costing the US healthcare system billions of dollars each year.

If you or a loved one is having trouble remembering to take their medication, or if you’re not sure they are taking them correctly, or at all, there is technology available to combat medication non-adherence. We’re going to breakdown three options for you, as well as an alternative to consider.

E-Pill Medsmart Automatic Pill Dispenser

The E-Pill Medsmart Automatic Pill Dispenser is a reliable option for those who are affected by medication non-adherence. The device is split up into different sections for each set of pills that make a circle, which rotates into place when it is time to take a pill. The dispenser will then emit a loud sound as well as a blinking light. Simply flip the device over and the pills will fall into your hands.

The dispenser is AC powered with a battery backup, and an alarm will sound when the battery is low. When it’s time to take a pill, the E-Pill Medsmart Automatic Pill Dispenser is easy to use, can hold up to 20 aspirin-sized pills at a time per compartment, and can be purchased upfront, with no monthly fees.

“My mom is 89 years old and has a lot of trouble remembering when to take her pills. With the MedSmart pill dispenser that problem has gone away. If the red light is on and the alarm is sounding she knows it is time to take her pills, if not there are no pills in the window and she knows it is not time for her pills. The only regret I have is that I didn't buy this earlier.” - via Amazon Reviews

MedMinder - Jon Pill Dispenser

While at first glance, it might appear that the MedMinder Jon Pill Dispenser is a regular pill calendar dispenser, there is much more behind these device. The dispenser features locking sections, and will only grant users to the correct compartments at correct dosage times, so there is no worry of anyone overdosing.

The Jon Pill Dispenser’s defining feature is that it enables interconnection between the user, their family, and the caregiver. The Jon locking pill dispenser can update MedMinder’s central computer about the patient’s dosage activity, which will then be readily available online for caregivers who can also receive immediate email or text message notifications and weekly reports.

MedMinder Review

“Just want to say how awesome the med minder is! My mother has beginning dementia and AFIB, which messes with her mind and takes 74 pills a day. The MedMinder keeps her on a timely schedule which keeps her med levels more consistent. She is doing better health wise and it gives me peace of mind knowing she doing everything right when I don’t get a text or call.” - via MedMinder website

GMS Med-e-lert

The GMS Med-e-lert is similar to the E-Pill dispenser, but it does feature a clear cover, which helps the user see when they need to refill the device. A couple of  new features for the latest model of the dispenser include the unit retaining program settings when the user needs to change batteries and a six alarms per day maximum, which is the same for the E-Pill. Unlike the E-Pill, the GMS Med-e-lert runs solely on AA batteries.

GMS Med-e-lert Review

“Med-e-lert solved my mother's medicine taking problem. Before Med-e-lert, she was forgetting to take her medicine at the assigned times and would occasionally become confused and double dose since all pills were available on her old pill box. All problems solved with this product. It was easy to program and has not jammed or malfunctioned since purchasing it weeks ago. The alarm feature successfully nags Mom until she takes her medicine. I highly recommend this product.” via Amazon Reviews.

Alternative Pill Dispensers (Ōmcare Telemed System)

Just like with these companies, here at Ōmcare, we too understand the significance of medication non-adherence and the effect it has on millions of people every year. That’s why we created the Ōmcare Telemed System with video chat interface.

This product, which will be hitting the market soon, offers caregivers the ability to see, speak to, and confirm appropriate medication from anywhere. The easy-to-use Ōmcare Telemed System enables remote care and visual confirmation of right pill, right time, right person.  We want your loved one to feel empowered, not monitored - giving you peace of mind, as if you were right there with them.

Features include:

  • 3-way calling capabilities
  • Easy, one-touch call interface for end-users
  • Medication dispensing, consumption assistance and support
  • Remote in-home telehealth care
  • Longitudinal data with medication adherence confirmation
  • EHR integration to support physician directives
  • Ability to dispense multi-dose pouch packaged medication

If you’re interested in making your or a loved one’s life easier by avoiding medication non-adherence, then make sure you keep an eye out for the Omcare Telemed System. Subscribe to our email list to stay up to date on latest updates on the release of this new device!


Download your personal daily medication chart (tips & alternatives)

Managing medications is not just a daily task, in many ways it’s a never-ending one. Keeping track of what you’re taking can be managed in so many different ways, but which one is best? First, consider what works best for you. Then think about how it might work for someone else to support your daily medication charting efforts. Having the ability to share and show others the way you’re managing your daily medications can be helpful to you and your appointed caregivers. Whether your caregiver is a member of your family or a more formal resource, like a hospital staff member or home health nurse, the ability to share your daily medication chart should be considered when you review the types of charts and tools available to you.

Here are 3 medication charts to consider when managing your daily medication:

1. Paper Might Work Best for You: ePill - FREE

Charts that offer the opportunity to write down, cross off and track the medication you’re taking still works best for many individuals. It’s always easy to look at the item in front of you and put your own information into it in a way that you best understand. Plus, all of the organizing is already done because you just have to fill in the information, on the already designed grid. Unlike other tools though, paper isn’t always as easily shared, so consider who is helping you out each day and what might also be a good way to show this individual your tracking proof too.

2. Electronic Templates Offer Access for All: Best Templates - $12

Tracking your log over time can be another way to monitor the way you’ve taken your meds vs. how they were intended to be taken. Best Templates offers downloadable versions that makes sharing with other easy, in addition to having a log for yourself to review over time.

3. Apps Work Well for Many: MyMedSchedule.com - FREE

With your phone already at your fingertips, the ability to chart the medications you take can be logged and recorded easily and quickly. The MyMed Schedule app allows you to type in and then find the medication you’re taking within its data listing, making set up easy. Establishing reminders by individual medications can then happen to help ensure there’s not a crossover of taking a medication at the wrong time.

Whatever choice you might make for your personal Daily Medication Chart, a top priority remains - taking the right pill, at the right time. More and more, the medications we’re each taking have benefits of their own impacted by combination with another drug. And so tracking, charting, recording and then sharing the information is more important than ever.
The Ōmcare Telemed System will be available in early 2019 enabling remote medication adherence assistance which will put an end to paper charts and reminder apps. Sign up to our email list to receive more information on availability and system features.


Startups that are disrupting Healthcare in 2019 (5 companies to watch)

It’s no secret that the healthcare industry has become a formidable presence in the startup arena, garnering hundreds of millions of dollars in investing this year. In fact, according to a Forbes article, all signs point to 2018 being a record breaking year for healthcare VC investing.

Because of this hyperactive market, there has been an increase in the amount of healthcare startups looking to capitalize on this interest from investors. This means that it’s getting harder to separate the contenders from the pretenders when it comes to these new companies. To help identify the cream of the crop, here is the definitive list of the top five healthcare startups to keep an eye on in 2019.

Virta

Virta is doing great work in helping those with diabetes, and they’ll continue to do more great things in 2019. Virta Health has delivered the first clinically-proven treatment to safely and sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes without the use medications or surgery. In there first year of treatments, 60% of their patients achieved diabetes reversal, 94% of insulin users reduced or eliminated their usage, and 83% of patients remained active in the trial. This is one healthcare startup we’ll for sure keep our eye on in the coming year.

Ōmcare

Ōmcare is an innovative healthy technology company and startup that address medication non-adherence through the use of their Ōmcare Telemed System. The product, which features video chat interface, 3-way calling capabilities, medication dispensing and consumption assistance, and adherence confirmation will be available mid-2019. The Ōmcare Telemed System offers caregivers of all types – physicians, pharmacists. and family – the ability to see, speak to, and confirm appropriate medication from anywhere. Ōmcare also addresses the growing twin problems of social isolation and the shortage of paid and unpaid caregivers in the senior market. The real costs of medication non-adherence and loneliness are more than just dollars and cents, and Ōmcare understands that.

Helix

Helix is a startup that is working towards “democratizing DNA” with their genetic testing marketplace. What makes Helix an exciting company to pay close attention to is their business model. They differentiate themselves from other genomics testing companies like 23andMe by requesting a single one time donation that allows their customers access to their marketplace of testing options. Everyone has a right to know about their ancestral history, and Helix is making it accessible to all.

PEAR Therapeutics

PEAR is actually the first company to receive an FDA clearance for a prescription digital therapeutic that works towards improving clinical outcomes in a disease. PEAR uses software applications that have been clinically-validated with pharmaceutical and treatment paradigms to provide results for their patients, which includes those with diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, asthma, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and more.

Sensely  

Sensely is a digital health company that uses an avatar-based, empathy-driven application that helps clinicians and their patients keep track and manage their health. The platform, highlighted by the virtual assistant “Molly,” includes data integration, images and videos, text to speech capabilities, and speech recognition. Sensely provides access to high quality medicine by utilizing artificial intelligence, a trend we’ll likely see continue in the healthcare startup sector.

 

Why Investing in Healthcare is Smart

More-so than any other industry, healthcare is an essential part of our everyday lives. Not just certain people, but everyone is affected by healthcare technology. Startups in this industry are working diligently to change the world by weaving new technology, drug and genetic advances, analytics and AI into solutions that impact our health, quality of life, and wallet.

While there have been many groundbreaking achievements in healthcare over the years, there is still so much opportunity to produce better, faster, and more efficient diagnoses, treatments, and management. Not only are there large returns to be had for investing in these companies, but you’ll lend a hand in the next big healthcare breakthrough.


Anser Innovation seeks funds to develop medication management device

The company behind PetChatz, a device which connects pet owners to their fur babies while they’re away from home, has a new healthcare product in the pipeline. Anser Innovation is nearly halfway toward a fundraising target to finish developing its latest creation, Ōmcare, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Burnsville-based Anser wants to raise $1.7 million more toward a goal of $3 million, the filing indicates. The new product, Ōmcare, is a home eHealth hub and audiovisual medication management system meant to ensure people take the right pills at the right time.

Read the full article from Twin Cities Business here.