Solving The Medication Adherence Problem with Omri Shor, Founder and CEO, Medisafe

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Solving The Medication Adherence Problem with Omri Shor, Founder and CEO, Medisafe

Hey Outcomes Rocket friends, thanks for tuning in to the podcast once again. As a leader in health care, you have big ideas, great products, a story to tell, and are looking for ways to improve your reach and scale your business. However there's one tiny problem. Health care is tough to navigate and the typical sales cycle is slow. That's why you should consider starting your own podcast as part of your sales and marketing strategy. At the Outcomes Rocket, I've been able to reach thousands of people every single month that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to reach if I had not started my podcast. Having this organic reach enables me to get the feedback necessary to create a podcast that delivers value that you are looking for. And the same thing goes if you start a podcast for what you could learn from your customers. The best thing about podcasting in healthcare is that we are currently at the ground level, meaning that the number of people in healthcare listening to podcasts is small but growing rapidly. I put together a free checklist for you to check out the steps on what it takes to create your own podcast. You could find that at outcomesrocket.health/podcast. Check it out today and find a new way to leverage the sales, marketing and outcomes of your business. That's outcomesrocket.health/podcast.

Welcome back once again to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. Today I have the outstanding Omri Shor. He is the Founder and CEO at Medisafe. Medisafe is an M health platform that solves medication not adherents. A huge billion dollar problem that we have in health care by addressing all the major underlying causes of this complex program including forgetfulness, fear of side effects costs, and lack of motivation and support. Today the app has 2.7 million registered users. So Omri, thanks so much. It's a pleasure to have you on the podcast.

Thank you very much for the opportunity. And I'm looking forward to chatting today.

Absolutely. Now Omri, tell me the one thing that I want to, that I always ask my guests is what got you into the medical sector to begin with.

Sure. So our story begins in about six a bit more than six years ago. My father is diabetic and hypertensive and we're backing Israel, and on that beautiful day he came to me and he asked me a quick question which was "Have you seen me inject my medications today?" And I gave him a pretty quick answer that was low. I mean at that point no I haven't seen him. However I unfortunately understood that there's no you haven't injected your medications. He went back into the house and injected a second dose of insulin, in a room and that was completely mistaken. And we've started thinking about how people manage their medications as a result of that. What tools does patients have and what functionalities and so on and so forth? And Impalen, we've also started thinking about what does a health care grant ecosystem, actually does for patients in terms of medication management. So we clearly notice that these providers, payers, pharma companies, pharmacy, nurse coming any of his clinicians none of them had a solution that they could have provided my father that point in time. And at the same time, he carried an iPhone. So we thought that we can create the new medium for patients so medication management using solutions that are coming to the market.

Well thank you for sharing that story Omri and hopefully, your dad is okay and he is just kind of a little misstep that led to solution being born.

Absolutely my my is doing very well, he's actually Medisafe user number one.

Is he really? Awesome.

He keeps on notifying us whenever there is any issues or or any bogs or anything like that. We have one user who's notify us right away.

That's amazing. And it's good to have that feedback loop with technologies like these and no doubt the hot topic here is medication adherents as it relates to this. Omri, what would you say health care leaders need to be thinking about?

Yes. So medication here is part of a bigger problem which is medication mismanagement. And patients are lacking tools to actually help them better manage their medications. And that leads to a lot of burden on the health care system. It's a critical issue. And let me give you some of the numbers that when I found out about those numbers kept me awake for a few days. It starts with 700,000 people a year suffer in emergency because of medication management issues and of those 700,000 people, hundred and twenty five thousand people a year will die. And you translate that statistically, it's every four and a half minutes an American dies. For me, it was very troublesome. That according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office leads to about 300 billion dollars of excessive expenditure. And that is because of additional admissions in additional emergencies and so on and so forth. Just imagine what the health care ecosystem could have done with additional 300 billion dollars a year. Right.

Absolutely.

Of course it does. It could have been billed. So it seemed to us like this is a huge issue. It's an unseen problem and something that should be brought to the attention of the grand health care ecosystem.

You know like I like the way you framed it Omri, it's a part of the medication management problem that is medication adherents and so folks the best in any industry truly have the ability to make distinctions about whatever it be that they that they work on and Omri obviously is giving us a distinction here. Medication Management versus medication adherents. I think it's really really important to take in mind as we work to tackle this problem. Omri can you give us an example of how your organization and technology has created results. I mean, aside from 2.7 million users which is very impressive, what are some things that have happened to improve outcomes?

Sure absolutely. So one minor correction today we have 4.5 million registered users.

That's a major correction. Congratulations 4.5 million that's outstanding.

Yes indeed that's a big population of patients and many people that we're helping. So this is exciting for us. I would like to say that when you look at a different constituents across the health care ecosystem many say for various outcomes for various stages. So I think that health care should be more focused on patients. So I'll start there. Medisafe helps hundreds of thousands of people each and every day to manage their medications correctly and what do I mean by manage medications correctly, that is starting from the basic reminders. She's a very important piece of the puzzle. However when you move further it's about educating the patients to for. There are two to factor that patients over time and so on and so forth. We're really looking to help keep continue for that patient from the moment that they're prescribe till the moment that they take their medication from health care. It's about looking at potential drug to drug interactions of that patient. And regarding that feature, Medisafe was able today to prevent tens of thousands of drug to drug interactions. We have received many e-mails from patients about how Medisafe literally saved their lives by identifying those interactions. So I think that we should start with the patient then when we move further into the health care ecosystem, our primary partners are in many cases pharma companies who are interested in proving patient experience for their patients. Of course that all translates into better outcomes, right. So imagine that we can improve adherents by 10% right. That we can move 21% of the nonadherent patients to become adherents. What are the implications for patients that are now healthier that do not need to suffer from any complications? And what are the implications to the health care ecosystem when you look at for diabetes patients for instance. There has been a study that showed that by improving adherents by about 20%, you save many hundreds of dollars a year as a result of that. I want to take it to one level higher because clearly it's important to improve outcomes for each and every patient. But Medisafe collects that level of data. So we have today over 1 billion medication doses that we're taking using Medisafe and about 6 million data points as to how patients take their medications right. Early health care stakeholders have claims data which is patients were taking their medications as pointing time. And that comes every 30 to 90 days. And then there's a lag. By using the Medisafe data, we move from a once a month to once every three months data sample to once to 2 to 3 times a day data sample. And we can understand patient behaviors in ways that were never available to us as the health care ecosystem todate and really get unparalleled insights into patients behavior, patient challenges, and how to solve them.

Yeah that's fascinating Omri. And like you said right there's the individual patient impact. But then it's the broader population health. How can we manage the overall behaviors of populations whether it be community or whether it be a subset of a chronic illness? Fascinating work that you're doing and I think it's making a big difference. Can you share a time with the listeners when you had a setback and something that you learned from that setback that as a result you always do things a certain way.

Sure absolutely. Let me start with one very important because I keep on getting to the patient right. Yes. So apparently although health care thinks that way, every patient is different. Because every patient is different, their challenges with medication management are different. Medisafe started the beginning we had a big vision but we started with features and functionalities that were one size fits all. However over time we've learned a lot about how to personalize experiences for users and one of them for instance is it's a very simple one. What is the call to action to go and reminds all to go and take his medications. And here is some very interesting insight for you. There are various ways to talk to patients and if I will go to a 50 year old patient and I will tell them hey "take your medications not only because it's healthier for you but because it matters for your family because you want to go and see your children or get married and support them over time. So it's not only for you it's for the family." We will see about 20% higher engagement from that. However, if I will go to a 20 to 30 year old millennial and do exactly the same talk about family values, we will get about 5% lower engagements. It's going to talk. So it took a lot of time to really start to see how do we think about personalization and that took about gazillion failures over where we kept on having many many challenges in bumping to walls until we have understood with our older values there. And remember I always thought of myself as a bit to see and to be company. So inside the health are ecosystem, there were many changes over the years. How do you prove. How do you prove veterans here. Right. And one of the things that we've found out is that the transparency of the data is not yet there. The access to data is not yet there and it only took us about five years until we had enough data so we could do a good enough data matching and be able to prove that value to the health care ecosystem.

That's a really great lesson learned Omri and a great share for the listeners to think about. Let's take a look at the other side of that. What's your proudest leadership experience in health care today?

So fortunately we are in place that we are working a lot with patients and we get patients sending us e-mails every day about how they can't imagine going through their patient journeys and their challenges without having Medisafe by their sides. There was one patient's specificically that told us "If I had on my phone just 3 apps, my calling app my texting app, and Medisafe, then my phone would fulfill what i seek.

That's great.

One in other beautiful example is a story of a gentleman called Richard and he used Medisafe to manage his wife's medication. However his stepfather used to take maintenance medications and at some point in time he was prescribed with an additional med. And then what happened is that he was prescribed with that med however, the pharmacists made a mistake and gave him a different med that the one that was prescribed. Richard then had Medisafe on his phone, so he went into interaction center to learn that if his father will take this mistaken med at the same time of the maintenance medication that he's taking, he's taking a severe risk of literally dying. So they then went to the doctor and the doctor indeed confirmed that there was a mistake there. So being at that point that you can help so many people be healthier and live their lives without the challenges of medication marriage is really an exciting place to be at.

Now that's really exciting and an amazing stories that you've shared I'm sure many more. But some great ones that you highlighted for us and I'm just curious. So before this whole journey started Omri, what were you doing before Medisafe?

So I always knew that my calling in life is to be entrepreneur and I worked for a startup in a completely different place. No firm management software. I was employee number one and it was in Israel where i startup. I was in charge of the entire business side. Initially it was reading the marketing messaging and after that working on how the product flows and then managing some of the sales activities it was a great time where I learned a lot of my intrapreneurs skills.

Very cool. It's fascinating and so from that experience, were you able to bring over some knowledge and skills that have helped with Medisafe?

I absolutely have. Human interactions human interaction when...

Yes.

You need to change the behavior of the secretary so she manages better. At is in some part is, it's similar to doing those things on patients. However, I think that business is business and you need to think about a business that you're building. Think about how you implement business models. How you help create value? How you quantify that value? And so on and so forth.

It all goes back to value and one of the neat things that I think can happen is as we tend to get tunnel vision and healthcare and it helps to look beyond health care and see what other industries like legal for example are doing to solve problems. And it's amazing the parallels that you could find to apply it within health care. Sounds like you did a little bit of that on the legal versus Medisafe side. Appreciate you sharing that. And how about on Medisafe an exciting project that you're working on today.

So in Medisafe for the last few years we've clearly been in touch with the big technology companies in our space. And about a few months back, Apple announced that they're allowing patients now to hold their health records information into their Apple device. And when we heard about that we thought that it is very exciting, it's reaaly breaking the barriers inside the health care system creating a true interoperability on the patients as opposed to the industry's side. And then we thought that the ideal thing to do is when the patient actually has their medical records and clearly medications are part of that to be able to pull that into their Medisafe account and create really frictionless and accurate medication loading into Medisafe. So on June of this year, Apple announced that they will open health records API...

Nice.

On their press release, there were a number of beautiful screen shots those screen shots were Medisafe.

Oh where they really? Nice.

To be the first company to actually take the medication data from the health records and hold that into their patients Medisafe's account. So were hardly on no final datas of this thing in intending to launch the future officially this fall.

Outstanding. Congratulations on that.

Thank you. And that's on the patient side right. And as I said, the biggest challenge is to run those two companies at the same time, in the business side in the consumer side. So on the business side we are in the process of really implementing Medisafe together with more and more pharma companies in creating value for them by managing patients medications for action.

Outstanding and you've provided such a great example Omri of being able to create a DTC company add value there while at the same time creating a B2B model that works hand in hand with your B2C model. And I think it's a great example one that entrepreneurs out there looking to make an impact in health care should study. So folks check out Medisafe, medisafe.com and the things that they're doing just an outstanding group. So let's talk about this syllabus so we're going to do a quick lightning round Omri. We're going to build a leadership syllabus on health care. The business of healthcare the one on one on business with Omri. And so I've got four questions for you lightning round style followed by a book that you recommend to the listeners. You ready?

Yes.

All right. What's the best way to improve health care outcomes?

I think that you should make sure that you're taking a strategic approach to how do you validate the value. And do clinical great studies and validate your solutions.

What's the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

I think it's very important to keep on focused to identify where you are going and understand the market and the market dynamics and just keep focused on what you're trying to achieve.

How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Always identify your target population and your consumers, your customers understand what they're looking for in an ever changing world. Continue on interviewing them and adopt the solution very quickly. Figure it quickly. Listen to the market and bridge those gaps constantly.

Great advice. What's one area of focus that drives everything in your organization?

Patients. Patient reviews each and every day. If you lose sight of the patient and what you were and how and what's the value that you generate to them you lose grape of the business and data is key. So we keep on looking at the data and looking at what our patients need and keep on training.

Love it. Love it Omri and what book would you recommend to the listeners on this syllabus?

So there is a great book called the Blue Ocean Strategy. Strategy book that essentially tells you stories of companies that were able to substract values from their products and add various other values instead and my dad created the Blue Ocean is supposed to read the ocean where everyone else is competing. So essentially it's how you differentiate yourself from your competitors based on the value that you can bring to the world.

What a great recommendation Omri. I picked that book up probably about 6 years ago but this is a good reminder to pick it back up again. Listeners if you haven't read that, it's such a refreshing way to approach you creation and look I mean Omri's doing an outstanding job. Him and his organization. This one popped up on his syllabus here for you, so you better read it. So Omri, thank you so much here to the end, I really appreciate your insights. Before we conclude though I love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place where the listeners could interact with you and your company.

Yes. So first of all thank you very much for your opportunity to talk to you today. I think that it's important to understand that better health care and for us are medication management has a ripple effect across the industry. By focusing on the ones who matter most the source of this problem which is improving medications for patients, I think we can improve health outcomes across health care continue. I would be happy to stay in touch you can find me on re short LinkedIn and you can reach out through the Medisafe website and click Contact Us and those e-mails go to my inbox as well.

Outstanding. Omri, thank you so much. Keep up the outstanding work on this medication management medication and here in space you guys are doing outstanding things and leading the way. And thanks again for spending time with us. It's been a pleasure.

Thank you Saul, enjoying the opportunity to talk to you today. And I'm looking forward to staying in touch.

Hey Outcomes Rocket friends, thanks for tuning in to the podcast once again. As a leader in health care, you have big ideas, great products, a story to tell, and are looking for ways to improve your reach and scale your business. However there's one tiny problem. Health care is tough to navigate and the typical sales cycle is slow. That's why you should consider starting your own podcast as part of your sales and marketing strategy. At the Outcomes Rocket, I've been able to reach thousands of people every single month that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to reach if I had not started my podcast. Having this organic reach enables me to get the feedback necessary to create a podcast that delivers value that you are looking for. And the same thing goes if you start a podcast for what you could learn from your customers. The best thing about podcasting in healthcare is that we are currently at the ground level, meaning that the number of people in healthcare listening to podcasts is small but growing rapidly. I put together a free checklist for you to check out the steps on what it takes to create your own podcast. You could find that at outcomesrocket.health/podcast. Check it out today and find a new way to leverage the sales, marketing and outcomes of your business. That's outcomesrocket.health/podcast.

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