Entrepreneur of the Week: Josh Stein, AdhereTech, Co-Founder & CEO
AdhereTech is a company that makes patented smart pill bottles to track and improve medication adherence in real-time. AdhereTech is currently being used by top pharmaceutical companies, health systems, and clinical researchers to increase adherence for specific medications and improve outcomes for patients. On average, AdhereTech improves adherence by over 20%.
We spoke to co-founder and CEO, Josh Stein about AdhereTech and the opportunity he sees in the 50+ market.
Longevity Network: What was AdhereTech do?
Josh Stein: AdhereTech makes patented smart pill bottles that automatically track and improve adherence. As patients use the bottles, data is wirelessly sent from the bottles to our servers, where it is analyzed in real-time. If a dose is missed, AdhereTech sends customized alerts via automated phone call, text message, and on-bottle lights & chimes. Additionally, the system can ask patients why doses were missed and route this information to a live nurse for immediate intervention. AdhereTech has been shown to increase medication adherence by over 20% – and improve medication persistence 25%.
LN: What opportunity did you see that you wanted to address with AdhereTech?
JS: Medication adherence is arguably the largest problem in healthcare today. It contributes to $300B in increased costs, $100B in lost revenues, and 125,000 premature deaths in the United States each year.
LN: What shortcomings did existing products in your field have?
JS: AdhereTech takes a different approach than every other healthcare technology. The flaw with other tools is that they require non-adherent patients, who already have issues managing their health, to set-up and learn complex devices. This is true whether a patient has to fill up a pill box, sync a device to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, or download and engage with an app. Non-adherent patients simply don’t perform these tasks.
AdhereTech is the first adherence tool that it built specifically with the non-adherent patient in mind. The worldwide 3G cellular technology allows our bottles to connect and work the moment the patient receives them, with no setup, from anywhere on the planet. Additionally, our bottles are used just like normal pill bottles, so there’s no learning curve for patients. All data is collected and analyzed passively, and we only intervene when necessary. AdhereTech offers automated phone interventions via landline phones – and automated text message interventions to cell phones and smartphones. The battery in an AdhereTech bottle lasts ~200 days on a single charge, and it’s recharged just like a cell phone. AdhereTech fits into the lives of patients, not the other way around.
LN: Who are your users?
JS: Our users are patients. Our customers are top pharma companies and health systems.
LN: How did you assemble your team?
JS: The team was assembled one-by-one, with great time and effort dedicated to every team member. Team is everything – it’s by far the most important aspect of any company because it affects every inch of the firm. Thankfully, AdhereTech’s team is second-to-none, with each member bringing unique and enormous value.
LN: How has what happened with AdhereTech differed from what you imagined would happen with your company?
JS: We have been fortunate to experience growth and success sooner than anyone on our team would have originally guessed.
LN: What do you wish you had known before starting AdhereTech?
JS: I wish that I had known more about product development. Thankfully, AdhereTech’s fantastic team had this knowledge, and this has allowed us to succeed.
LN: What most excites you about health tech for the 50+ market?
JS: The 50+ market is adopting technology at an enormous rate. AdhereTech’s solution is easier to use than any other piece of technology, health-related or otherwise, and it’s promising that the 50+ have shown great willingness to use our solution. Opt-in rates are over 80% for eligible patients.
LN: What is your best piece of advice for startups who want to include or target the 50+ market?
JS: Rather than designing a product that is great for people in the 50+ market, design a product that is great for people. Do this and the 50+ market will adopt it.
LN: Where do you see AdhereTech five years from now?
JS: Today, smart pill bottles are used by thousands of patients. In five years, our goal is to have smart pill bottles used by millions of patients.
LN: What health or wellness technology do you hope exists by the time you retire?
JS: I am hoping for cures to nearly every health issue.
LN: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
JS: AdhereTech is currently working with many of the top firms in healthcare. If you’d like to learn more about our product or test our solution for a larger engagement, please contact us at AdhereTech.com.