Joining me by my virtual hearth this week is Omri Shor (@OmriShor), CEO and co-founder of Medisafe (@MedisafeApp). Omri was inspired to create Medisafe after his father accidentally double-dosed on insulin. He describes Medisafe as a medication management platform providing personalized support. He and his team have grown the user base of Medisafe’s medication adherence application to over 4 million users worldwide.
I challenged Omri, suggesting that the fundamental problem around medication adherence is not about getting better nudges out to patients but about affordability of medications and about patients not wanting to self-identify as chronically ill.
Omri’s response addressed the issue pretty comprehensively, first noting that 25-30% of medication adherence issues are due to forgetfulness, so the app’s reminders can be tremendously helpful. However, Medisafe is also building behavioral science into its service, identifying the reasons for nonadherence for each patient and implementing a plan, and delivering content, that addresses each patient’s issues and motivation effectively, based on a personalized profile. We don’t “talk about illness or sickness. We’ll talk … in a much more positive way.” And in a way that is tuned to the patient’s therapeutic, demographic, socioeconomic and other characteristics. For example, reminding a diabetic patient aged 50 or above that their health matters to their family yields about a 20% increase in patient engagement (which translates to medication adherence), while the same messaging delivered to a millennial yields only a 5% increase. “So the app essentially analyzes who you are and based on those determinants will start changing both the content as well as the messaging for each and every individual. And that’s really the sophistication that we’ve built over the years inside the platform. This is the truly secret sauce — the ability to really change and talk to different people in different voice.”
Next, we discussed value-based payment models that Medisafe is employing with its customers. Starting with the understanding that “700,000 people a year are about suffering emergencies due to medication management issues, … we [Medisafe] believe that we can help those folks improve their conditions by adhering to their medications.” Adherence issues also cost pharma companies, since fewer doses are sold if doses are not taken – the lost revenue was in excess of $280 billion a year for one recent year. Medisafe has done their homework and Omri says that if we “can indeed create value for the industry why wouldn’t [we] be willing to put some skin in the game?” Medisafe offers two models of partnerships. The first is a flat licensing fee (licensing the Medisafe platform to pharma companies to help improve patient adherence). The second is a value-based model, tied to patient engagement, and the company has the data and the confidence to contract with pharma companies on that basis.
Omri notes that value-based contracting is the future of healthcare contracting across the board “because we can’t afford it any other way [and] a few years from now anyone who’s not going to be willing to be measured on the value that they bring will not survive. Simple stuff. So we want to be ahead of the game. We do have data to show that we prove value. We are happy to share that value with our clients.” And here is the highlight of our conversation: “You know, as much as we can say that about a contract, it’s actually pretty fun.” (Be still, my legal heart!)
Since not everybody has as much fun with contracts, Omri notes that Medisafe’s integration with Apple Health allows participating hospitals and health systems to offer their patients the ability to add their medications to their electronic health record data without the need for additional contracting on the part of the health care providers. Medisafe has managed the integrations so that each provider doesn’t have to do so itself.
In the future, Omri sees an accelerated consumerization of healthcare, noting that today, “healthcare is not focused [enough on individuals …. Healthcare is focused on healthcare.” But in the very near future, he expects that healthcare will go digital, just as consumer banking has gone digital, and “barriers between different health systems will just fall.
Check back with us on a regular basis to keep tabs on progress towards that goal.
I spoke with Omri as part of my ongoing series of fireside chats with healthcare innovation leaders – Harlow on Healthcare, on HealthcareNOW Radio. Listen to our radio station online, or ask your smart speaker (Amazon Echo or Google Home): “Find Tune In station HealthcareNOW Radio.” You can catch me live weekdays at 8:30 am, 4:30 pm and 12:30 am ET. As each new show goes live, the last one joins the archive, available via SoundCloud or your favorite podcast app (iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio). Your comments are welcome here. Join the conversation on Twitter at #HarlowOnHC.