Fellow – a Philadelphia-based health tech startup that combines a smart pillbox with technical and customer support for members – announced today that it’s launching a direct-to-consumer offering. The launch is supported through investments by Philadelphia healthcare leaders Independence Blue Cross (Independence), Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and Penn Medicine.
Studies show that as many as 50 percent of patients don’t take their medications as directed. Taking medication as directed is particularly difficult for people who are managing two or more chronic illnesses at the same time, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Fellow’s smart pillbox can detect when medications are taken or not taken and send customized reminders to Fellow members via light, sound, text, call or email. The pillbox also comes with an online dashboard where members can see medications removed in real-time.
Moving beyond the common pillbox, the tech-enabled smart pillbox from Fellow not only sends reminders to members but can be a powerful tool for caregivers, as well.
“We saw an opportunity to use our technology to help families have peace of mind,” said Rahul Jain, Fellow’s co-founder and CEO. “The pillbox and online dashboard make it easy for family members to keep in touch and organized about medications, by creating reassurance without taking away members’ independence. One of our primary goals is to make medication-taking and staying in the loop easier on the whole family.”
Investments by Independence, PCOM and Penn are part of a larger trend of leading healthcare players partnering with services that provide an improved patient experience with a personal touch.
“Medication adherence is a serious issue and Fellow’s pillbox addresses it by offering a simple-to-use concept that enables patients to better manage their medications and for caregivers to rest easy knowing that their relatives and loved ones can live independently,” said Terry Booker, vice president Corporate Development and Innovation at Independence. “We’re excited about the progress Fellow has made and look forward to the future success this direct-to-consumer offering will bring.”
“Through the Primary Care Innovation Fund at PCOM, we choose to invest in opportunities that stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the healthcare field,” said Dean Miller, fund manager of the Primary Care Innovation Fund. “Our investment in Fellow underscores PCOM’s commitment to improving the well-being of the community through disease prevention and wellness maintenance.”
“Through Dreamit Health, the startup accelerator program Penn Medicine launched with Independence, we’ve been able to help incubate many early stage companies that have made a material impact on health care,” said Roy Rosin, MBA, chief innovation officer at Penn Medicine. “We believe it’s critical to facilitate the growth of companies like Fellow, as they can deliver novel solutions that make a meaningful difference in the lives of the populations we serve.”
Fellow, recently rebranded from TowerView Health, was one of 11 startup companies that participated in the 2014 Dreamit Health Philadelphia class. In January 2017, Forbes named the company to its Forbes 30 Under 30 in Healthcare list. For more information on the company or to sign yourself or a family member up for the service, visit myfellow.com.
Fellow was founded in 2014 to build health technology and connection for the whole family. For individuals and caregivers of individuals who take multiple medications, Fellow is a smart pillbox and healthcare navigation service that makes it easy to take medications and provides peace of mind for families. Fellow’s smart pillbox sends custom reminders to members or their loved ones, and members have access to a Health Assistant and online dashboard to help them navigate prescriptions. Fellow was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Healthcare list in 2017 and was recently recognized with a 2018 Stellar StartUps award. Fellow’s team of Health Assistants are dedicated to making medication experiences personal. Chat with them at myfellow.com or on Instagram and Twitter at @FellowPillbox.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations. For more information, visit pcom.edu.
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