Correction: A previous version of this article misstated that ACE was the name of the mobile app. ACE is the name of PharMedQuest's customer relationship management platform and not the mobile app.
Healthcare management company PharMedQuest announced last week that it has made a strategic investment in helparound, an Israeli company which makes an app that supports and connects patients with chronic conditions. The companies have made an agreement to co-market helparound's mobile offerings.
“Part of [the app] is connecting patients to each other, but communities are just one part of the puzzle,” Yishai Knobel, helparound's co-founder and CEO, told MobiHealthNews. “There is a big effort today for pharma companies to support patients in a variety of [ways].”
helparound’s platform aims to help people with a variety of chronic conditions, including Type 1 diabetes and kidney failure. However, this partnership is going to be specifically focused on helping people living with HIV and Hepatitis C manage their conditions.
Pharmaceutical marketers and hubs are able to share information with patients on the app, which gives users educational resources, real-time patient support and crowd-sourced community support. It also has a mobile channel to engage its patients, improve access to care and increase retention and adherence.
There is need for tools connecting patients to resources, according to Knobel. He cited an Accenture report, which said less than one out of every five patients globally is aware of the services available to them.
"We believe that much of the awareness gap has to do with services not being targeted well enough to the right patients," Nobel wrote in a follow up email to MobiHealthNews. "This is especially concerning when it comes to patients with complex, chronic illnesses where the burden of care is often a daily challenge. We believe our mobile solutions — alongside strategic partners like PharMedQuest — can help.”
Mobile allows patients to reach out to providers and seek resources more easily than other mediums, Knobel said.
"We are excited to partner with helparound to match patients who have complex diseases with the appropriate resources and improve their access to care," Chris Nee, CEO at PharMedQuest, said in a statement. "We think that customized interactions with patients in their real-life environment will lead to cost-effective quality care.”
In 2014, helparound landed $550,000 from Windham Venture Parnters and angle investors Walter Winshall, Robert Oringer, and former Harmonix COO Michael Dornbrook. The app was first designed as a tool for people with diabetes. and for parents of children with diabetes, to reach out to nearby support networks.
At HIMSS 2014, the company positioned themselves as one of the first to bring the “sharing economy” to healthcare.