See these Health Start-ups present at eyeforpharma Philadelphia when they pitch on stage as part of the Health Tech Start-up Challenge.

The pharma industry has many gaps that need to be filled. Here are five startups rising to the challenge

The charge that the pharma industry is a laggard is misguided. The science involved in saving lives is cutting-edge and always improving. The fact that personalised medicine is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ demonstrates pharma’s dynamism.  

Of course, the science is only one piece of the puzzle. And big pharma does not have a monopoly on good ideas. The evolving regulatory, cultural and technological landscape calls for new talent and new ways of thinking.  

Here are five startups ready to take up the mantle:                 

AdhereTech is the only smart packaging technology to ever gain commercial adoption - all other smart packaging devices have been unable to scale beyond pilots. AdhereTech’s patented wireless pill bottles automatically collect and send adherence data via a variety of sensors that are built into the bottle. Its robust software system then analyses this information in real-time.

If doses are missed, patients receive customisable interventions including bottle lights and chimes, automated phone calls, text messages, personalised support, and more. AdhereTech helps improve patient adherence and persistence, a problem that results in $100-$300bn of avoidable healthcare costs.

AdhereTech goes beyond reminders to be a powerful real-time adherence and patient support solution. If the system notices certain patterns of non-adherence, it can solicit feedback from patients via text or phone call, asking them why a dose was missed. The patients’ responses can then be routed to live healthcare practitioners for immediate intervention. On average, AdhereTech patients fill 1 to 2 additional fills per year, generating a significant ROI for our customers. (Additionally, AdhereTech see increases to adherence by 20% and time on therapy by 35%.)

AdhereTech partners with pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies to distribute high-cost specialty medications to patients in its bottles. AdhereTech increases adherence and persistency for these expensive medications, which results in increased refills, sales and ROI. The pharmaceutical companies pay for AdhereTech, whereas the specialty pharmacy is the distribution partner.

AdhereTech is also a tool for clinical trials. The bottles monitor and increase adherence in trials, and patient adherence data is also correlated to drug efficacy and toxicity. Additionally, non-adherent patients are identified sooner, thus reducing the time and cost of trials. The pharmaceutical companies or research institutions pay for AdhereTech.

Cecelia Health
Cecelia Health aims to solve the current diabetes crisis where over 30m Americans live with diabetes and costs the US $327B annually.
Cecelia Health (formerly Fit4D) is a leading technology-enabled diabetes and chronic disease management company that connects clinical coaching and proprietary technology with people living with diabetes and related chronic diseases, to improve patient outcomes for a healthier population. 

For pharmaceutical and medical device companies seeking to improve medication adherence and brand loyalty, and health plans and ACOs seeking to improve quality measures, Cecelia Health enables Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and other expert clinicians to scale their reach and deliver effective, personalised, one-on-one care.

Unlike technology only applications or call centers, Cecelia Health optimises the mix between expert clinicians and technology and unique data-driven insights to cost-effectively deliver measurable outcomes.  Notable client partnerships include four of the largest diabetes global pharma companies, and health plans such as Humana, WellCare, BCBS Michigan and Healthfirst.

The effectiveness of Cecelia Heath’s bespoke coaching solution can be gauged by the lowering of A1C levels in patients, which can reduce the risk for all complications by 30% to 35% and reduce the risk of a heart attack by 18%. Therefore, increasing life expectancy and a better quality of life for those living with diabetes.

Clara Health
Clinical trials are the longest and most expensive step in bringing a new treatment to market, and over 80% of trials run are delayed due to difficulty finding participants. Some of this is due to stringent regulation, but much of it has to do with antiquated technology, a lack of education on both patient and physician sides, and convoluted, unfriendly processes that patients must hurdle through to get enrolled. 

Clara Health is transforming the clinical trials experience for every stakeholder involved.

For Patients: Clara has combined tech with a human touch to hold patients’ hands through the clinical trials process from initial search through to enrollment. Clara’s platform and navigators handpick trials and then coordinate pre-screening, travel, insurance, and beyond — all free of charge to patients and caregivers.

For Sponsors: Clara develops patient-centric recruitment and retention plans for sponsors alongside Clara’s Breakthrough Crew, comprised of seasoned patient advocates. The plans leverage ClaraCare, a top of the line concierge service and Clarity ad network which reaches 99% of the internet.

For Sites: Clara Coordinator, a HIPAA compliant, cloud-based software helps reduce site burden, get diverse pre-screened leads, simplify patient follow-ups, and manage the pipeline so that sites can track and reply to candidates in minutes.

Holmusk is a data science and digital health company dedicated to addressing how the world confronts mental health and chronic diseases. Its mission is to address this burden by building the world’s largest Real-World Evidence (RWE) platform for mental health, and to establish data as a core utility to the treatment of mental health through the capture of real-world data (RWD). Additionally, Holmusk’s proprietary technology is also harnessed to analyse real-world data across other chronic metabolic diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease etc.

It does this through three main components: (1) proprietary data analytics, (2) speciality mental health EHR, and (3) digital health.

Holmusk draws on its deep understanding of real-world data to inform predictive models to identify patients with unmet needs and those who are best suited for new drugs, aiding drug development and quicker market adoption. In addition, it creates personalised care protocols aided by clinical decision support tools powered by predictive AI models.  

Holmusk’s overarching mission is to make access to RWE a reality of today, not tomorrow. For pharma, we want to unlock the use of RWE in drug development and commercialisation by identifying patients with unmet needs, enabling data-driven research and development, providing evidence for regulatory submission and allowing quicker adoption of interventions in the market.

Viver Health
In 2010, the day before her second daughter was born, pharmaceutical executive Vicki Barghout was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time she was running an Oncology division for Health Economics, Outcomes Research, Market Access and Pricing and knew the facts about the disease. Determined to beat cancer, Vicki researched all available evidence-based information about food and lifestyle to complement her traditional treatment.

Vicki founded Viver Health, LLC to educate and empower patients dealing with disease. It is at the leading edge of a pharma trend to complement classic treatment for chronic conditions. It researches and produces comprehensive programs that enable patients to supplement their treatments with wise nutrition and wellness guidance specific to a disease state.

The Viver team of researchers, nutritionists, content and media experts works closely with client sales forces, medical science liaisons and market access teams. The team mines volumes of evidence-based, peer-reviewed information to discover nuggets of knowledge that best benefit patients with specific diseases and conditions.

Viver is helping the industry realise an opportunity: to supplement and augment classic patient treatments with a holistic, evidence-based approach to healing and conquering disease. Vicki Barghout’s experience is testimony to the efficacy of this approach. Viver’s guides and full programs help with patient compliance and mitigation of symptoms, and reduce resource utilisation — a win win for all parties.  Pharma brands also have discovered that such programs enhance brand awareness and communicate a “we care” message to patients and stakeholders.

Oshi Health
Oshi Health is a digital health platform that is revolutionizing the management and treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Oshi empowers people with IBD through tracking and education, and it will support IBD stakeholders within the healthcare community, including medical researchers, with data that enables new treatment advances and care optimisation.

Oshi is the first all-in-one app to help individuals live their best life with IBD. The free mobile app launched to the public in June 2018, and it is available for Apple iOS and for Android. User data is protected with best-in-class security. As of January 2019, Oshi has over 40,000 downloads across the US, Canada, UK and Denmark. 

Pharma brands can leverage Oshi’s platform to provide an enhanced digital patient experience program. Oshi offers an unbiased platform for users, filled with tracking tools and educational resources. Once a patient identifies their current IBD therapy, they are able to unlock specific content modules for that brand. Oshi also partners with pharma brands to offer access to patient reported outcomes (PROs) data sets that can be used to inform treatment optimisation strategies and pipeline development.

Oshi also supports real-world evidence studies by supplementing PROs with validated measures surveys that are pushed out to study participants directly in the mobile app. The daily tracking features available through Oshi offers brands and researchers data points with greater frequency than available through traditional methods, expanding the tools available to understand IBD patients.

The startups featured in this article will be taking part in our eyeforpharma Philadelphia event in April. You can find out more about the event here

See these companies present at eyeforpharma Philadelphia on April 16-17th.  

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I hope you enjoyed the article - please let me know if you have any feedback, or if you want to get involved with the summit.

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The 5 Health Start-Ups You Need to Know about

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You can see these health tech start-ups speak alongside pharma and healthcare pioneers at eyeforpharma Philadelphia.

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Josh Bramwell
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