The MedaCheck medication reminder system keeps patients healthy, and is as easy to operate as a toaster. Read the complete interview with Jeffrey Shepard, CEO, MedaCheck, as he shares the story of how he started the company, overcome technology challenges, and prepares for the next milestone.
Q. What products/services does MedaCheck provide?
A. MedaCheck provides a medicine reminder, monitoring and alert system comprised of hardware, software and a communications service. Patients are informed of when they need to take medicine via audio and digital reminders and alerts. Additionally our call center monitors missed doses and will call the patient directly as needed. Family members, caretakers and physicians can be informed when the patient takes the medicine, or misses an important dose.
Q. What problem do you solve?
A. Medication adherence is a problem with patients that need daily prescription drugs to treat certain ongoing conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and cardiac disease. As patients age, and as multiple drugs are needed, it becomes more challenging for them to remember to take the appropriate medicine, especially at specific times of the day. Our medicine reminder and alert system helps patients stay healthy. Additionally, by enabling healthcare providers to improve their survey scores related to patient satisfaction, outcomes after patient discharge, and overall quality, providers can get higher reimbursement from government insurance payers, such as Medicare.
Q. How did you get started?
A. The idea for medication reminders came to me, because I take a daily medication. If I forget to take it, I simply cannot sleep at night. For others it could result in a life threatening situation, or lead to serious complications, hospital visits and added costs for the patient and healthcare system. I have experience with software technology and thought it would be a good idea to create a custom application to mitigate this risk. I reached out to my friend and first business partner who is a software developer for help.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge?
A. Transitioning from a software-only solution to a software/hardware offering, and taking a more holistic approach from a technology standpoint. We discovered in our initial user testing that the patients needing the medication reminders the most (the elderly) weren’t using the software application on iPads. Even users around the 50-60 age range were not comfortable with the ubiquitous swiping feature. I decided to analyze toasters, because to me they are one of the few, easy, mechanical products left that are not intimidating to any age range. This insight led to the development of a custom mobile technology appliance to run our software as well as enhancements to our interface and user experience.
Q. What are your key accomplishments?
A. Last week we generated revenue for the first time. I received a check from our beta client, MidMark, a medical equipment manufacturer and supplier located near Dayton. Additionally, we will beta test our product at Cedar Village Retirement Community in Mason. We have raised $500,000 in seed funding to date, and have also gained traction in developing channel partner relationships. The success I am most proud of is how we quickly adapted our technology solution by adding hardware and updating our software based on user feedback and requirements of our target patients.
Q. What is your next milestone?
A. Completing our beta implementations, publishing the outcome results, and moving towards the release and launch of our solution within the healthcare market in mid 2014.
Q. What made you decide to house your business at Cintrifuse? A. During my PhD program I did my dissertation on incubators and interviewed many around the country so I consider myself pretty knowledgable about them. I wanted to be affiliated with Cintrifuse, because they are providing a unique and synergistic model that aligns startups, venture funding, co-working space, and networking. We found our first beta site through an introduction from Cintrifuse leadership. I believe Cincinnati is well on its way to becoming the startup hub of the MidWest, and this will lead to investor awareness on a national level. The seeds that the local entrepreneurial community have been planting over the years are definitely starting to sprout. All we need is a little patience.
About Jeffrey Shepard, Ph.D.
Jeffrey is originally from Rochester, NY, where he started is first landscaping business as a teenager. His entrepreneurial nature drove him to start other businesses in acoustic design, property management, medical equipment and software technology. MedaCheck is his 14th startup. He has also been a university professor in Cincinnati and Buffalo. For more information visit:http://www.medacheck.com/ or contact Jeffrey at (513) 202-3628.