By Riley Kaminer
Did you remember to take your pills this morning?
For some people, it could be a life-or-death question.
Separately, but equally problematically, 25% of medications are never even picked up from the pharmacy. And potentially as many as 50% of patients stop taking medications within six months of having been prescribed them. All of this makes it even more difficult for doctors to treat their patients, and for insurers to provide their customers with high-quality care.
Boca Raton-based Tamar Sapir is acutely aware of these issues, having been a researcher studying diabetes. After earning a PhD, the Israeli native landed here 17 years ago to do a postdoc at the University of Miami.
As a healthcare educator for over the last decade, she has witnessed many challenges in our very fragmented healthcare system. But Sapir told Refresh Miami that one of the biggest challenges in healthcare begins the second a patient leaves the clinic with the diagnosis: “when patients go home and need to deal with their medications, their condition on their own, in addition to their overall wellbeing and daily life struggles.”
“They are often lost, confused, or overwhelmed about the medications they need to take or who they can go to for help and support,” asserted Sapir. “The harsh reality is that over half of the patients do not take their medications as prescribed, which leads to treatment failures, hospitalizations and mortality.”
In early 2021, Sapir began working on a solution to this problem, founding Boca Raton-based startup Synchronyx. The company has designed a digitally-connected smart label system called Tappt Health. The battery-free label can be attached to any medication package.
Each smart label is personalized to the patient. When they take their medication, patients simply tap their smartphone against the label. That sends a signal to their doctor that they have taken their medication. If the system detects that a patient has not taken their medication, it can send a message to remind them.
Sapir highlighted five advantages to Synchronyx’s holistic approach to medication and care management: 1) measure real time adherence patterns, 2) engage and empower patients, 3) support care teams in proactively identifying at risk patients, 4) allocate resources, and 5) link patients to timely and needed services.
This is an improvement over other products currently in the market, according to Sapir. She noted that medication data is either self reported or calculated by looking at refil rates. “Though useful, these measures do not capture day-to-day variability or medication-taking behaviors, nor do they identify the root causes of non-adherence,” she said.
Currently, the startup has a fully-functional beta version that they have just launched in partnership with five large academic institutions. Synchronyx is now looking for strategic partners to help raise their seed round, which they hope to close by the end of the year.
“There are so many great healthtech and healthcare potential partners not only in Boca, but also overall in our South Florida region,” said Sapir. She is particularly excited about the positive impact the startup can have on patients, insurers, doctors, and healthcare systems through Synchronyx’s products.
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