Startup Spotlight: iPill

The Future of Pill Management is Here

A former doctor turned entrepreneur, John and his wife Sherie, are trying to solve the opioid crisis with an innovative solution. iPill is a high tech solution to improve, control, and monitor opioid prescription dissenting to reduce the risk of addiction and overdose.                                 

Where did the idea for iPill develop?                        

Patients at home have uncontrolled and unmonitored access to controlled Opioid medication that can lead to abuse, diversion, and death – resulting in 20 years of the opioid crisis.                              

Why did you choose the name “iPill”?                                  

By taking the “i” in “I am in charge of my own health” we are encouraging patients to be mindful of prescription adherence. We adopted the popularity and functionality of iPhones to develop a high-tech upgrade from the child-resistant cap mandated 50 years ago.                             

Who is your current target audience?                             

The national pharmacy chains, insurance companies that want to safeguard their subscribers from the risk of opioid addiction, diversion, and overdose.                                      

How do you think iPill is going to change the industry?                               

The current prescription dispensing in a plastic bottle with a child-resistant cap is not adequately protecting patients from accessing all the drugs that can cause harm to the patient himself and his family as well. The iPill digital and hardware solution is the high-tech upgrade answer to putting control back on controlled substances.                          

What made you want to join an accelerator program?                            

This particular program provided knowledgable and helpful staff who offer insights and connections to the right people.  Being in Hartford, the capital of major insurance companies we can work locally and face-to-face with partners to complete and launch iPill Dispenser to help reduce and prevent tomorrow’s addiction in today’s patients.                                                  

How did you and cofounder meet?                                  

We are married for 32 years and pursuing the goal of improving a patient’s holistic health experience.                                  

How did you find out about Hartford InsurTech Hub?                              

 iPill was invited to apply by Rob Spangenberg from SBC.                           

What made you want to join an accelerator program?                            

We need help getting in front of the right people at Aetna/CVS, USAA, United Healthcare/OPTUM, and The Hartford.                            

How does iPill improve the quality of life?                                

The opioid crisis has prompted to implement drastic measures to reduce opioid prescriptions through REMS and CURES.  The patients who are dependent but not addicted grew desperate because their opioid prescriptions are reduced and can’t meet their need for living a normal life. The addicts resort to illicit heroin and fentanyl. The additional paperwork, answering calls from patient complaints and pharmacy questioning the prescription all make the workload for the physicians heavier. With iPill, the opioid prescribed according to the patient’s need can be securely stored, dispensed in a timely and controlled manner using the patient’s phone and adherence monitored by the physician. The iPill aims to improve opioid prescription safety and security leading to positive patient experience.                               

What do you think has been iPill’s biggest obstacle, and how have you overcome that?                         

What differentiated the iPill from the other drug dispensers is our ability to destroy the opioid pills when the dispenser is tampered. To make the drug destroying mechanism contained in a user friendly packaging still needs more engineering and design work.  The money and fund raising remain the biggest obstacles. But we are steadfast and believe in the social impact iPill can have on improving the opioid crisis. We have overcome the obstacle of distance by being in Hartford so we can meet and form strategic partnerships to overcome the other obstacles.

What advice would you give a startup that is interested in joining the Hartford InsurTech Hub’s accelerator program?                         

Just do it!