NORWALK, Conn., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthPrize Technologies, a web-based software company that motivates people to fill and stay on their prescription medications, announced its official launch today. HealthPrize takes a fresh approach to the problem of medication non-adherence: it tracks users' medication taking and prescription refilling, educates consumers on the importance of taking medication properly, and rewards them for doing so.
According to the New England Healthcare Institute's report "Thinking Outside the Pillbox," non-adherence to prescribed medications is responsible for $290 billion in "otherwise avoidable medical spending" per year. Furthermore, the prescription non-adherence problem is prevalent across all consumer demographics and leads to a significant amount of negative health outcomes.
"Patients can and should play a larger role in their own healthcare," says Tom Kottler, CEO of HealthPrize. "But for many people, the promise of improved health and wellness is simply not enough. By providing financial incentives, education, games, and opportunities for interaction with other users, we're giving them the motivation they need to take their medications as prescribed, and ultimately, to lead healthier lives."
HealthPrize's unique combination of medication tracking and refill verification, coupled with an interactive online program, rewards and educates consumers, increasing both extrinsic and intrinsic motivations to drive greater medication adherence and increase medical literacy. The HealthPrize "Engagement Engine," a web-based software solution, borrows concepts from behavioral economics, neuroscience, consumer marketing, gaming and psychology that have proven track records outside of healthcare to motivate consumer behavior, user engagement and increased adherence. As a result, HealthPrize has developed its system to provide users with tangible benefits that accrue as users engage the system and take their medications more frequently. Benefits include awards points (similar to a credit card or airline mileage loyalty program), chances to win sweepstakes and monthly competitions.
The HealthPrize system is designed to engage newly diagnosed patients as well as patients who already take medication, but may do so on an irregular basis. Given the program's focus on financial incentives and fun, it is more likely than traditional programs to encourage use by patients who have typically failed to opt-in to adherence initiatives.
"We've studied and applied knowledge from behavioral economics and consumer research, and we've found ways to combine these insights with the most advanced and most cost-effective technologies," says Dr. Katrina Firlik, CMO of HealthPrize. "As a result, we're uniquely positioned to have a greater impact on the non-adherence problem over the long term than companies that have come before us – and in the treatment of chronic medical conditions, only long term behavior change will make a significant difference in reducing medical cost."
HealthPrize currently holds ten patents licensed from Walker Digital/Science House that cover various systems and methods for providing financial and other incentives to increase medication adherence. "This extensive portfolio creates a significant barrier to entry, and allows us to take a closer look at how incentives and online games can increase user adherence," said James Jorasch, Chief Innovation Officer of HealthPrize, previous head of inventing at Walker Digital, and one of the named inventors on the patents underlying the company.
William Shrank, M.D., M.S.H.S., Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Physician in the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women's Hospital, will be the principal investigator of a HealthPrize pilot study scheduled to begin in September 2010. The study will consist of 200-300 subjects using the program, and will aim to prove increased adherence over the control group, demonstrate engagement of users, and obtain feedback on all elements of the system.
HealthPrize will initially work with the pharmaceutical industry, insurance companies, health benefit plans and employers. The HealthPrize system is built and prepared to implement across an organization. The solution is scalable and flexible, and can easily be integrated with existing programs such as pharmaceutical company-based co-pay card programs and employer and insurer-based wellness offerings.
About HealthPrize Technologies
HealthPrize Technologies, founded in September 2009, provides an innovative approach to addressing the problem of medication non-adherence to increase long-term medication adherence with a program that is fun, engaging and educational.