Data Design Diabetes Demo Day Semi-Finalist: iRetainRx

Data Design Diabetes Demo Day Semi-Finalist: iRetainRx

First up in our coverage of semi-finalists for Sanofi‘s Data Design Diabetes Demo Day is iRetainRx. Previous coverage here and here.

iRetainRx’s founder and CEO, David Parpart, began the pitch boldly, by saying, “We are going to save 500,000 lives this decade.” He then went on to describe how their interactive mobile system will allow caregivers, patients and pharmacists to collaborate on care plans. See, for every 100 prescriptions, only a fraction are filled, and only a fraction of those are even taken correctly. This attrition is particularly difficult with diabetes, where the regimens are complicated, the effect of the drugs can be hard to notice, and yet: noncompliance leads to huge extra social costs.

Parpart likens iRetainRx to “a good friend” who helps patients navigate a treatment plan. And he’s taking advantage of a trend of MTM – medication therapy management, which represents a big step forward for the pharmacist role, and a big opportunity for payers to intervene.

iRetainRx is more than a mobile app – he calls it a platform for effective med adherence outreach. Their app optimizes the pharmacist-patient encounter (they call it OBRA90 consult optimization) with patient and pharmacist-facing apps for web and tablet.

Dispensed medication bottles are outfitted with “smart sitckers” – NFC (near field communication) tech – so you can tap your mobile phone near the pillbox to get information on dosage and schedule. The potential is there (we think) to interface with your current blood sugar or even meal diary and tell you whether you need a medication or not. The stickers are cheap ($1.59) and provide emergency contact numbers and links for more info, as well.

So iRetainRx takes the big, nebulous idea of a treatment plan, with a confusing array of meds and diets and blood sugar data, and shrinks it down to something simple and actionable.

In the Q+A, it was revealed that they’re maneuvering this app so that it will not require an FDA clearance. And when someone asked if the problem in noncompliance was more about lifestyle than drug adherence, Parpart responded that people need to feel cared for to make necessary changes, and so iRetainRx is going to nudge patients at every opportunity.

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