Medical entrepreneurs attack a confusing medical problem with technology.
MedSnap’s mission is as simple as their name: to improve medication adherence and safety with technology. These issues have a huge human and economic impact: an estimated 125,000 patient deaths and at least $290 billion lost in unnecessary healthcare spending each year in just the U.S.
The answer for MedSnap’s founders, Drs. Patrick Hymel and Stephen Brossette, was to create unique and easy-to-use technology and then put it right in the hands of patients, clinicians, and caregivers.
This entrepreneurial healthcare informatics company has also introduced the MedSnap Pill Mapping Project, a healthcare initiative designed to visually map the identities of thousands of prescription pills. The project, which utilizes a mobile application and smart phone, allows a clinician, patient and/or caregiver to capture and reveal a set of pills’ identities in seconds.
By inviting the healthcare community, including healthcare systems, hospitals, pharmacy schools and healthcare professionals to rally behind the monumental effort, MedSnap believes its Pill Mapping Index (PMIX) will mark a critical step in addressing the medication adherence and safety crisis in America. With the Index, healthcare professionals will be in a unique position to leverage MedSnap’s visual-identification technology to improve their medication safety and reconciliation processes. Having already started the initiative with several healthcare institutions, MedSnap has a Pill Mapping Index of thousands of drugs comprised of hundreds of thousands of images thus far. To incorporate the remaining pills, MedSnap is reaching out to healthcare professionals for assistance.
“Because we want both clinical and non-clinical users to be able to use our applications for medication safety wherever they evaluate or take medications, we must identify, and then model each medication in as many lighting situations as possible to ensure accurate identification,” explains, Patrick Hymel, MD, chief executive officer and co-founder of MedSnap, LLC. “The more images that are available for a particular pill, the higher degree of accuracy in its identification. And so we recognize the magnitude and the timeliness of what we are doing which is why we are inviting the medical community to join us.”
Founded by medical entrepreneurs, Dr. Patrick Hymel and Dr. Stephen Brossette, MedSnap enables clinicians and medical service personnel to identify prescription medications by name and strength, screen for drug interactions and other warnings and access detailed clinical information such as dosage and administration information via a comprehensive drug database.
MedSnap’s complete product line is a set of smartphone apps that work together to make the entire medication process safer. The first, MedSnap ID (Identify), allows clinicians to quickly screen sets of pills for their identity and check for drug interactions. The second, MedSnap PT (Patient) is for patients to ensure each dose they take is correct, documented and available for secure review by their loved-ones or clinicians. The third, MedSnap CG (Caregiver), is a free app that securely pushes MedSnap PT data to family and friends so they know how their loved one is taking their medications.
Medication adherence is an old problem that remains difficult to address with existing solutions.
• Nearly 75 percent of adults who take prescription medications are non-adherent in one or more ways, such as not filling a new prescription or taking less than the dose recommended by the physician, according to PHRMA.
• Better adherence to antihypertensive treatment alone could prevent 89,000 premature deaths in the U.S. annually, reports The New England Journal of Medicine.
• 32 million Americans are taking three or more medications.
• The average Medicare patient with one chronic condition sees four physicians a year, while those with five or more chronic conditions see 14 different physicians a year.
“Medication non-adherence is a serious problem for patients, employers and healthcare providers,” states Stephen Brossette, MD, PhD, chief science officer and co-founder of MedSnap, LLC. “Fortunately, we believe we have technology-based solutions that we can soon put in the hands of clinicians, patients and caregivers that will improve medication adherence, improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.”