Guest: Jon Michaeli
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Jon Michaeli, EVP Marketing and Business Development for Medisafe, is responsible for consumer growth and adoption, strategic partnerships, and commercialization through industry stakeholders such as biopharma, life sciences, and consumer hardware and medication packaging companies. Jon unites 20 years of experience in digital consumer behaviors and psychologies and a keen understanding of market dynamics to develop and evolve innovative new healthcare products. Jon holds a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School.
Segment overview: Jon Michaeli discusses the topic of drug to drug interactions in the consumer health world and gives an introduction to Medisafe.
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to the program, I’m your host Neal Howard. Thank you for joining us here today on Health Professional Radio. Our guest today in studio is joining us to talk about a very serious consumer and healthcare provider issue as well. He is here to talk about ‘Drug to Drug Interaction’. His name is Mr. Jon Michaeli, EVP of Marketing and Business Development with Medisafe. Welcome to the program Jon.
Jon Michaeli: Thank you very much, it’s great to be here.
N: Give our listeners a bit of background about yourself as EVP of Marketing and Business Development for Medisafe.
J: Sure, absolutely. I’m responsible for, as my title suggest, marketing which includes both on the consumer side, getting more patients to use Medisafe and provide the value of increased adherence as well as making various constituents, they called theirs in the care continuum like pharma, and payers, and providers aware of Medisafe and the benefits to provide to patients, keeping them out of the hospital, reducing their risks, and reducing their cost. When patients use our platform, they’re generating lots of data, every medication, every time that you take the medication, every dose that’s registered, has a lot of data associated with it, with that individual and we have recorded about 650 Million doses taken since Medisafe’s inception back in 2013. Well, based from when we first had the app in the App Stores.
N: Is this app designed to deal only with drug to drug interactions? Or are there a number of different features that are provided through the app?
J: Yes, a great question. Medisafe is a medication management platform. We call it a platform because it serves many different stakeholders as I mentioned. Patients use an app. They download the app from the App Store to like I said, manage their medications. They can add all of their medications to Medisafe, either one at a time manually thru the assistance of databases that help them get it added correctly and quickly or they can import all of their medications from CBS, … Walmart and a new feature is to bring it directly from the EMRs, the hospital systems that use EMRs. We’re going to be launching that soon. They manage their medications, they get them in order, they put the schedule, and then they get notifications when it’s time to take them. But more than that, it also is a personalization, a method of personalization. Every patient is unique, they’re taking different medications, they have different financial circumstances, they may have comorbidities, demographics, etc. We seek to understand each person uniquely, each individual and address their specific causes for not taking their medications, something called ‘Non-Adherence’. Non-Adherence is actually many different problems and one that they give you a flavor of it, it includes forgetfulness, but it also has lack of support and not having appropriate expectations about side effects, lack of motivation, cost of medications, etc. What we try to do again, is understand the detractors, or de-motivators, or impediments for each individual patient and address those uniquely within the Medisafe user experience.
N: You’ve got the data to determine the differences and similarities between patients. But when it comes to the drug interactions and how they will affect each of these differing patients, how much information are you relying on that is government information, information from the pharmacy that dispenses the drugs, and the different companies that make similar drugs that may have different information? There are so much information that is involved with the patient and all of these drugs that they may be taking. How does the app collate all of that information effectively?
J: Sure. First of all, we’re in a really good position to be able to do this, because as I mentioned, patients are bringing all of their medications in and we’re enabling them to import them from multiple locations. Unlike an individual hospital system that may only have a view into the prescription that the patient has received from that individual hospital, while the patients attends multiple hospital systems, they don’t have that line of sight unless the patient brings their medication if the doctor which many times they don’t. Medisafe oftentimes is a unique source of having all of the patient medications into one place. And then, we have databases as I mentioned, some of which we purchased for license from a company called ‘Elsevier’. They have a global list that’s updated, extremely frequently if not daily, certainly weekly of medications that are seen as contraindicated. In other words, they have potential interactions. What we do is, we essentially behind the scenes are scanning patient’s … to see, or they taking medications that are potentially harmful together. And then we alert patients when that is the case. We don’t just tell them though, that you have medications that are contraindicated because they’re in degrees, there’s a range; they could be mild, it could be moderate, major or severe interaction. What we know is that oftentimes, physicians will prescribe two medications that are contraindicated but have minor effects or only on small patient populations. They do it knowingly because it’s the best solution for that individual patient and what we don’t want to do is for the patient to stop taking medications simply because there’s a possibility of a mild interaction. We proactively alert patients when there is a major or severe interaction and they can always find their interactions, the potential interactions in a specific location within the app, whether they are mild to severe. But we only proactively advise them of the major and severe ones.
N: When it comes to trusting the platform, you’ve got your healthcare providers who are normally a little bit more used to dealing with tons and tons of data and cross referencing, things of that nature for their patients or on behalf of their patients, especially when it comes to drug interaction. How does the platform combat Dr. Google?
J: Sure. We curate content for patients. We do that again, understanding the unique circumstances, what medication are they taking, what condition are they managing, what impediments do they likely have based on how they’re interacting with the platform. We have partners that we collaborate with to essentially populate their user experience with content, and resources and tools that are appropriate for that patient. Hopefully, it kind of limits the degree to which they’d feel that they need to go out into the … web and read content that may not be authoritative, it may not be from a reputable source.
N: Where can our listeners go online and get more information about your platform?
J: They can go to medisafe.com, which is our website. They can also search for Medisafe in the App Stores both iTunes or Apple App Store as well as Google Play for android. Medisafe is exclusively online and on mobile devices.
N: Great. Alright, good to know. Well it’s been great having you here with us today.
J: Likewise. Thank you very much Neal for the opportunity. I appreciate it.
N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, in studio with Jon Michaeli, EVP of Marketing and Business Development at Medisafe. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm. You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes. Listen in and download on SoundCloud. And also, check us out on Youtube.