MediBot: AI Meets Medication Adherence

MediBot is revolutionizing the way that people take their medication. It happens too often that people on prescription medicine will forget when or how much to take, but MediBot is making sure that these things don’t get lost by the wayside in the business of everyday life. MediBot has made it as simple as a single text message and from then on your electronic devices will remind you to take your prescriptions on a daily basis.

 

Between the use of AI and the integration with new technology, MediBot is on the forefront of medication adherence and their CEO, Francisco Ruiz, was kind enough to answer some questions about his company and the medical field in which it operates.

 

Findings:

 

Q: Tell us a little about your organization and your focus.

 

A: MediBot is a medication adherence platform that leverages Artificial Intelligence and Conversational Interfaces to send reminders tailored a patients’ behavioral health indicators.

 

 

Q: What was your inspiration for the company?

 

A: While working with our customers in the public health sector we realized the behavioral causes of low medication adherence, a $100 billion+ problem in US healthcare, causing 125,000+ deaths per year. We decided to engage with a medical device company funded by the Gates foundation to do a pilot on how to use cognitive artificial intelligence for medication adherence, and once we realized the positive impact on patients and the vision for smarter daily health decisions, MediBot was born.

 

 

Q: What specific value does your company offer that others in the field don’t?

 

A: We rely on Conversational Interfaces to create an extremely simple interface that doesn’t require downloads, installations or apps. In addition we’re very excited about using products like Amazon Echo, Google Home so people can be reminded by voice, tailored to their personality type.

 

 

Q: What audience will benefit most from your product?

 

A: Individuals that need help remembering to take their medications on a daily basis, especially those that have their medication dosage change frequently.

 

 

Q: Over the past 10 years what has been the biggest technological innovation that has shaped your industry, and has this innovation impacted your business directly?

 

A: The usage of bots and personal assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo; these devices will definitely shape the future of health and medicine monitoring and compliance. We believe we are in the front of this innovation trend and are excited about the possibilities for personalized medicine.

 

 

Q: What are some lessons you’ve learned from starting a company?

 

A: The best lesson learned is to be able to prototype the target solution for a problem and have enough customers (in our case, patients) to provide feedback on the level of pain that it solves, prior to building a complete product.

 

 

Q: Do you have any upcoming events or projects that you would like our readers to know about?

 

A: We will be releasing a full integration with Alexa Echo by the end of the year, customers are already testing our prototype and we’re excited of the results to date. In addition, we’re currently partnering with one of the top universities in the US to publish research on the usage of our product in several patient populations.

 

 

Q: Where do you see your company 1 year from now?

 

A: We see us fulfilling on our promise to deliver conversational interfaces for increased medication adherence, scaling the number of patients we’re able to work with on our system.


Check out their angelMD profile and try out the beta that can be found on their website and is available to consumers in the San Francisco Bay area.

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angelMD Friday Roundup – June 16, 2017

angelMD’s Friday Roundup is a collection of five stories that you need to know about each week. From policy to innovations, look to us to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the healthcare industry.

With no EHRs, Hospitals Overpay for Tech

Without Electronic Health Records (EHRs), technology becomes underutilized, according to Harvard Business Review. Providing evidence-based care requires specific calibration by healthcare workers rather than drawing on data from the EHR. This causes productivity to fall, despite increased technology spending.

According to FierceHealthcare, the important takeaway here is that hospitals should “take advantage of their purchasing power to buy systems that can connect.”

Cleveland Clinic Partners with Oscar Health to Provide Coverage

The Cleveland Clinic and Oscar Health are joining forces and offering insurance plans which can be purchased through government subsidies with the option for people to pay the full cost of insurance. The plans only include the Cleveland Clinic’s network of providers and can only be purchased in five Ohio counties.

As larger players like Anthem, UnitedHealth Group and Aetna scale back their Obamacare business, the startup’s partnership with the clinic “shows narrow networks, which limit choices of doctors and hospitals are key to the future success of the ACA,” #5868aa9e1322 “>according to Forbes.

Apple Moving Forward in the Healthcare Industry

According to CNBC, Apple is preparing to make the iPhone the source of all your medical information. The article notes that Apple would be essentially mimicking what it did with the iPod and iTunes by providing a centralized system for healthcare data.

This addition would theoretically tie your activity data gathered through Apple’s wearable tech with your medical data, allowing for a more complete picture of health. With their recent hire of Dr. Sumbul Desai, clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford, it’s clear they intend to move forward. If Apple gets this right, it could have a profound impact on the healthcare industry.

77th Scientific Sessions of the ADA Draws on Digital Health

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) hosted their 77th Scientific Session on June 9-13. Since diabetes management has been the focus of many apps in the digital health space, the ADA’s Scientific Session felt their presence. Several startups on the angelMD platform are also working to reform diabetes care like Atlanta-based Rimidi.

In Dr. Alvin D. Powers’ presidential address, he noted the importance of the diabetes community collaborating to support patients and innovate new forms of care. “If we’re to meet the size, the scope, the urgency of the challenges related to diabetes, it will require a new level of discovery, engagement, and joint collaboration. It will take you. It will take all of us,” he said.

Medicaid Cuts Pose Unintended Consequences

The proposed American Healthcare Act includes significant cuts to Medicaid. A series of articles on NPR illustrate the ramifications on healthcare in the U.S. if such cuts are passed including addiction treatment, training for adults with disabilities, and insecure coverage for low-income individuals.

The Medicaid and larger healthcare debate continues to flourish in the public sphere. Recently, the Health Affairs Blog ran a series on reigniting the bipartisan spirit of healthcare reform with each post authored by Democratic and Republican leaders in health policy.

New at angelMD

  • Doctors are starting to become more active investors, this article discusses the trend and how it affects entrepreneurship.
  • Psious, Pro-Arc Diagnostics, and näNO biomed are just three of the many startups to join the angelMD community. Check out their profiles to see how they’re changing the face of healthcare.

Stay on top of the latest developments at angelMD: Sign up and you’ll be the first to hear about new startups, syndicates, and events in your area.

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JLABS Introduces Innovation Lead and QuickFire Challenge

Dan Parsley

angelMD SVP of Corporate Development

Johnson & Johnson’s Newest Hire:

Many Texas eyebrows were raised when Johnson & Johnson announced they hired Dr. Billy Cohn, a storied heart surgeon, magician and musician from the Texas Heart Institute.   This was in conjunction with their plans to launch a first-of-its-kind Center for Device Innovation (CDI) at the TMC Innovation Institute in Houston.  This investment is on the heels of the opening of the JLABs@TMC which marks the sixth JLABs location in North America for the largest medical device company in the world.

Dr. Cohn is a native Houstonian who recalls the grand opening of the famed 8th Wonder of the World Houston Astrodome in  April of 1965 as a child, while also getting frequent press clippings from his mother about the development of the first artificial heart developed by the famed Dr. Michael E. Debakey and put into the first human by Dr. Denton Cooley.  Dr. Cohn would later become one of the few heart surgeons to work for both Drs. Debakey and Cooley who spent the balance of their careers as bitter rivals in pursuit of new heart implant breakthroughs.   Dr. Cohn is not stranger to innovation.  He stakes claim to over 150 domestic and international patents, granted and pending, and has founded five unique companies centered around his innovations.  

We think Johnson & Johnson chose wisely.

Introducing the QuickFire Challenge:

In conjunction with the Grand Opening of the Center for Device Innovation (CDI @ TMC) in the Fall 2017, Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices have launched the CDI @ TMC QuickFire Challenge, a device-focused challenge aimed at game-changing early-stage medical device innovations across strategic areas of interest for Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices, with an emphasis on Surgical Oncology and/or Obesity.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation will award a grant up to $50,000 to the top solutions, one year of paid lab space at JLABS @ TMC in Houston, Texas, including access to the device prototyping lab, and mentorship and coaching from Dr. Billy Cohn.  

angelMD is pleased to have partnered with Johnson & Johnson to provide the winner an additional $100,000 investment from our Catalyst Fund.  In addition,  angelMD will consider opening syndicate investment opportunities for our over 4,000 members for the top finalists which could result in over $250,000 in direct investment for these companies.  In the month of July, angelMD will be scoring the applications for QuickFire.  If you would like to participate in the angelMD evaluation process, please CLICK HERE

Applications from ALL interested medical device companies, particularly those with a focus on Obesity and Surgical Oncology,  the deadline to apply is Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Winners will be announced at The MedTech Conference in San Jose, CA on September 25-27, 2017.  To apply, CLICK HERE

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Houston TMCx Demo Days 2017

June 8, 2017 was a lively day at the TMCx accelerator here in Houston, TX. Over the course of the afternoon, 24 medical startups took to the stage to perform five-minute pitches for a crowd of investors, physicians, and interested guests. Products presented ranged from new software intended to streamline intra-hospital communications (ConsultLink) to a revolutionary device designed to cut a pressure-reducing hole between ventricles in the heart to reduce the risk of heart failure (Alleviant Medical). Here are the highlights of the day:

Treatment Process Improvement:

M&S Biotics – Joshua Mecca and Co. want to put an RFID tracker on every surgical implement on every operating room in the country, allowing hospital staff to better track the cleaning and storage of devices, as well as detect trends of use and non-use to consolidate inventories, saving facilities millions.

Stroll Health – Purveyors of the “hotels.com of healthcare,” the Stroll team has created a platform that simplifies the booking of imaging procedures by giving the patient the ability to choose a location based on reputation, cost, and proximity, which will save the patient time and improve follow-through.

Medifies – The next company in Nate Pagel’s long legacy of startup success, Medifies is an incredibly simple, HIPAA-compliant application that sends real-time updates about operation procedures  directly to the mobile devices of families and loved ones. The Medifies team seeks to eliminate the dreaded “waiting room experience” and improve physicians’ satisfaction ratings and hospitals’ patient retentions.

ConsultLink – Alexander Pastuszak’s company had its beginnings in attempting to improve communication between hospital staff members at shift handoffs, but grew into a creating a wildly adaptable multi-faceted platform that can operate a slew of patient outcome and hospital efficiency-improving applications.

Medication Management:

CNSDose – This team seeks to end the dangerous and ineffective trial-and-error process by which antidepressant drugs are prescribed, and instead focus on a physiological and individually-tailored approach to pick the right medication for each patient. CMO Dr. Harris Eyre’s showed his research indicating that genetically guided dosing massively improves a patient’s chances of remission.

Ward MM – Stuart Ward explained that his company seeks to address the 106,000 deaths and $42B wasted every year as a result of medication errors. Ward MM’s system of training, medication reviews, and real-time reporting is intended to reduce adverse side-effects and allergic reactions while improving and expediting recovery.

Artificial Intelligence:

InContext Reporting – Robert Grzeszczuk memorably demonstrated his voice-activated software on stage, showing thousands of spectators in real time just how fast his rules system could evaluate and correct a radiology report. His system has the potential to save radiologists thousands of hours in imaging reviews.

Behavioral & Neurological:

Psious – Xavier Palomer and his Barcelona-based team’s virtual reality treatment platform incorporates classic behavioral psychology with new-age VR technology to create a quick, effective, and affordable exposure therapy system for a wide array of mental health disorders. With this new, innovative approach to mental health, Psious hopes to assist a significant portion of the population that traditional medicine has failed.

 

A Great Weekend for Digital Health at TMCx:

angelMD Regional Medical Director Dr. J. Michael Bennett said, “It is a remarkable thing when you actually experience a paradigm shift, and it was clearly evident by the turnout this week at the TMCx that there is an awakening in the medical community regarding innovation in healthcare. 24 digital health companies pitched novel digital technologies to a standing room only crowd while simultaneously streaming to over 2,000 participants. This is clear evidence that there is significant interest in the investment and fostering of this healthcare innovation movement. The AngelMD team was in attendance and had successful meetings with many of these companies: for more information on how AngelMD and the Texas medical center are disrupting the Houston medical scene go to www.angelmd.co

We here in the Houston office were excited to see some of our member companies giving engaging performances and gain exposure to more of the fabulous resources the Texas Medical Center has to offer. As Dr. Bennett said, the collective scientific and commercial accomplishments of all of our neighbors who presented yesterday speak to strength of the environment that is emerging here in Houston. We can’t wait to see what the next cohort has to offer!

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Investing in Healthcare: the edge physicians have over other investors

Healthcare is one of the most challenging industries for a common investor to analyze and get a solid return in. Many of the drugs, procedures, and tools that form the basis of a potential investment are complex and difficult to understand without a formal education in the field. Because clinical trials are of such high importance to these technologies, knowing the implications of the reported results is incredibly beneficial for the investor. Physicians can take advantage of the information gap between medicine and be investing to maximize their investment potential.

This was demonstrated by the recent founding of Thessalus Capital LLC, which is headed by two medical students. The company reported a lucrative 44 percent return in 2016.  By way of comparison, the S&P 500 showed a return of only 8.53 percent for the year, while the healthcare segment faltered to a four percent loss.

Healthcare companies are uniquely positioned for fast expansion upon completing certain milestones. An FDA approval or successful clinical trial can lead to a rapid increase in value for an organization. Unfortunately, the initial capital required to get that approval or trial is often the most significant roadblock that a company will face.

Physicians have the distinct advantage of understanding what is required for a product or service to find success in healthcare. As such, they are ideal candidates to invest in the space. This emergence of so-called “doctorpreneurs” holds the power to shift the way in which medical technologies are funded and developed.

For help finding investment opportunities in healthcare join us at angelMD.co

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