According to Mayo Clinics study, 7 out of 10 Americans take at least one prescription drug. Although these drugs may be effective in fighting disease, their full effect is often not realized because approximately 50% of patients do not take their pills as prescribed.
Such a high number results in pretty serious losses. For example, The New York Times estimated that lack of adherence causes approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations a year. The global cost impact of patients not following doctor’s prescriptions ranges between 100 and 286 billion dollars annually. The vast majority of these costs could be avoided by improving medication adherence.
For over a decade, MD Janne Sahlmana, an orthopaedic surgeon, saw how poor medical adherence had a negative impact on patients getting better and also causing significant healthcare costs. To solve the problem, he co-founded Popit – smart devices dedicated to improving adherence by digitizing medicine.
Finnish health startup Popit designs a solution that helps patients to keep a better track of their medication. They built a small easy-to-use device that automatically detects when a pill has been popped off the pack. The company already has a working prototype that is being used in an ongoing clinical pilot at Kuopio University Hospital.
Popit patented technology tracks the pills and sends the information on how much of them were used to a mobile app. The app that supports the treatment by tracking medication effectiveness, remaining pills and medication usage patterns. It also reminds the user or his / her caretakers if a pill has been forgotten.
Recently Popit raised €1.2M in seed financing from Butterfly Ventures, six private investors and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. The funding consists of an investment and a loan, and will be used for bringing the pioneering device Popit Sense to market.
“The investment will enable us to pursue our vision of quantifying medication. Like step counters track activity, we track pills and support the patient in staying on track with medical treatment. This kind of technology hasn’t been available before and it opens up exciting new possibilities. For example, caregivers to their parents will be able to see from the mobile phone if mom or dad has taken the medication. Likewise, patients will be able to see how taking medication has had an impact on well-being.”, comments Teemu Piirainen, Popit’s CEO.
The solution will be first available for the 100 million birth control pill users. For this purpose, Popit is preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign in November. The campaign will be aimed at birth control pill users and the money from that would be used for tailoring the device & app to suit birth control pill users’ lifestyles.
“We are for example planning custom alerts, birth control pill specific insights, a diary functionality and special product colours.” – commented Piiranen.
The device is already available on for orders on company’s website. Follow this link tosign up for early-bird discount: https://popit.io/i-need-one/
Valerie Vlasenko is a space journalist tackling the dilemma of popularising space. Founder of VSpace Media and an Editor at ArcticStartup – Valerie has rich experience as an entrepreneur, a journalist and a space lawyer.