Birmingham Business Journal

MedSnap snaps up partnership with VIVA

VIVA Health, an insurance carrier that is a part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System, has adopted an app that allows users to immediately obtain information about medication in their possession.

MedSnap, a tech firm based at the Innovation Depot in Birmingham, announced in a news release that VIVA became a user of the firm’s much talked about MedSnap ID. In addition to gaining national attention, including a mention by tech blog Gizmodo, MedSnap ID has been repeatedly referred to by Gov. Robert Bentley as one of the products that fits a statewide initiative to create jobs from ideas.

MedSnap said VIVA’s care managers will use the app to reconcile the medications patients take with their prescribed regimen during visits to members’ homes. The carrier will also be able to use app at the medication safety screenings in its Medicare cafes.

“It’s a very progressive patient safety move on their behalf,” said MedSnap CEO Patrick Hymel. “Medication errors are the number one reason patients go back to the hospital.

“It’s a big deal for families trying to manage patients with a number of chronic illnesses.” Medicare patients, which VIVA deals with, see an average of seven doctors per year, with each prescribing different medication, Hymel said. The use of the app allows the care managers to put all the information together so that a “patient understands how they can manage their health on an ongoing basis,” he said.

Hymel said it’s not unusual for patients to be prescribed a dozen different types of medication. From a business perspective, the MedSnap ID adoption aims to reduce readmissions and medication errors that can result in costly consequences, he said.

The information MedSnap ID provides is based on a vast medication database that MedSnap maintains. With the pills captured with an iPhone camera, the app uses computer vision technology to identify the medication.

“The medication history is a critical part of each clinical encounter, and understanding what the patient actually takes can be difficult to assess in a busy clinical setting,” said VIVA medical director Tara Bryant.“We will use MedSnap ID to improve our members’ health and safety while we practice more efficient care.”

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