Medisafe hits 4M users, launches free adherence comparison tool

By Jonah Comstock
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Medication adherence app maker Medisafe announced this week that the company has reached a milestone of 4 million users and more than 1 billion medication doses logged. The company also launched a new resource for pharma companies that taps into the company's massive dataset.

“Once you have 4 million users and … a billion doses managed in the four years since the apps have been in the stores, you have a lot of data and that data can generate insights,” Jon Michaeli, EVP marketing and business development for Medisafe, told MobiHealthNews. “And this is one of our biggest value propositions for the industry, whether it’s payers, providers, or pharma.”

The free tool, called Adherence Grader, is available online. It lets pharma companies (or, really, anyone) input two medications and compare their adherence rates, allowing users to compare their brand name drug to its generic equivalent, compare a product to a competitor’s product, or even compare adherence between different brands the company owns.

The tool provides comparative data between two medications at a time, and doesn’t disclose absolute adherence rates. Medisafe hopes that pharma companies will want the rest of the data, and that will lead them to Medisafe’s recently launched Medisafe Insights product.

“[With Insights], they can understand what types of interventions work,” Michaeli said. “When they work with us we’re sharing with them what the patient is acting on in the app. Are they clicking on the co-pay card or the health literacy stuff? What are their patterns? Are they forgetting that noon-time dose? Is their adherence falling on the weekend?”

The current status quo for adherence data is based on claims and script fills, Michaeli explained. That means there’s no way to tell if patients are actually taking a drug as directed; a person who takes a pill every other day will show up the same as one that takes it every day for a week, then skips a whole week. What Medisafe provides — adherence data on the level of individual doses — largely hasn’t existed before.

And new features that are being added to the app will add further value to that data.

“We’ve also started not just relying on data analytics but asking patients questions in the app like ‘Why did you skip a dose?’ or ‘If your adherence was low in a particular week, can you tell us why?’ So they’re starting to give us qualitative information. And they’re responding at a very high rate. We have almost a 40 percent response rate to ‘Why did you miss that medication dose?’ which is pretty impressive I think.”

Of course, the data Medisafe shares with pharma companies and other partners is aggregated and deidentified. Michaeli hopes patients understand that since the app is free, Medicare needs to sell the data in order to have a viable business model.

“Frankly, there’s a lot in it for patients,” he said. “It’s not like we’re exploiting them. We’re helping them in the end because we’re helping all these different constituents serve them better. We’re helping them provide better products that meet their needs and that help them take their medications the way they’ve been prescribed, so that they can get better, they can have better outcomes, they can lead healthier, happier lives.”