Healthcare has a problem: Patients don’t take their medications. As former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, noted: “Drugs do not work in patients who don't take them."
The financial cost is staggering. NEHI, the New England Health Institute, estimates that non-adherence adds 13% to US health care expenditures or an additional $417 billion this year.
In Israel, data from the Clalit Research Institute suggests that half of patients do not adhere to their medications. Among chronic diseases like diabetes the numbers are even worse. Only 44% take their medications as prescribed.
The Israeli Society for Quality in Healthcare recently convened a conference in Tel Aviv to tackle the problem of non-adherence. Lectures were followed by an Adherence Startup Contest with five startups presenting to an audience of 300 doctors and clinicians.
Telesofia: Automatically generates branded personalized educational videos for patients. The videos are tailored to the specific patient, directed to low literacy level and available on devices with no need to install a specific application or codec.
Medisafe: An easy to use mobile application with nearly two million downloads for patients, families, friends and caregivers to know when patients have taken medications and alert them when they do not.
Vaica Medical: A cloud-based service management and monitoring software, enabling the remote deployment, management and monitoring of smart medication dispensers and vital sign monitors.
Belong: Social and Big Data tool for cancer patients and caregivers to manage and improve the cancer treatment process.
TeleMessage: HIPAA compliant, enterprise-quality, secure messaging platform for hospitals and doctors. TeleMessage is a publicly traded company that is transferring its 16 years of telco messaging experience toward the healthcare sector.
Mobile Health is a growing sector in Israel. IVC Research Center estimates 251 companies in the sector with more than 30 new companies established for each of the last three years. Based on the mHealth Israel database, only 5% of mHealth companies are in Growth Revenue stage.
The expertise of these companies is not Life Sciences. It is IT domains like Sensors, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Imaging, Cyber Security, etc. Most of the Israeli digital health startup community will be in Jerusalem on June 29th to meet executives from companies like Merck, Allianz, NTT, Cleveland Clinic and J&J at the mHealth Israel Investors Summit. "We understand non-adherence is not a problem of just forgetfulness or lack of money”, says Ran Balicer, Chair of the Israel Society for Quality in Healthcare. “It is a multi-factorial phenomenon, attributable to drug, patient, caregiver, provider and system factors, and the solutions must be multifaceted as well.”
The medical world is beginning to view Israeli digital health startups as part of the solution.
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