Nisarg Patel may still be at the beginning of his career – he’s a first year medical student at Harvard – but he has some big, career-making ideas. Along with team members Manav Sevak, Kunaal Naik, Manjinder Kandol and Kurt Carpenter, Patel pitched his idea for using wearables to improve medication adherence in Medstro’s Wearables in Healthcare Pilot Challenge – and made it to the finals.
“One of the patients I interviewed last semester was struggling to remember to take her medications on time, which led to a flare up of a chronic inflammatory condition and time in the ER,” Patel says of his idea. “I asked her if she’d be more likely to take her medications if she was reminded and was better informed about the risks and benefits of doing so, and she replied yes. I realized then that mobile and wearable technology could be an ideal platform to help patients keep track of their medications and help providers personalize treatment plans to each patient’s goals.”
Patel’s concept is titled ‘Memorandum’ and is a web platform that utilizes intelligent mobile messaging to send patients personalized text messages to patients, reminding them to take their medications and prepare for appointments, giving them a better understanding of how to manage chronic and noncommunicable illnesses, and empowering them to improve self-care.
“Using a closed feedback loop, our platform implements an algorithm which collects behavioral and situational data from patients’ responses to messages and gives providers longitudinal information regarding patient behavior, helping them quickly identify at-risk patients, and developing care plans personalized to patients,” Patel explains. “By transiently engaging with patients and collecting feedback, Memorandum hopes to humanize healthcare technology.”
Patel and his teammates are excited to pitch their idea at Google Cambridge next week for Medstro’s live, grand prize pitch-off. “There’s an unexplainable energy and inspiration that comes from standing in a place like Google,” Patel says, “and we’re excited to be around so many other people that are as passionate and ecstatic about the future of healthcare technology as we are.”
They’re also confident about their idea, citing the 125,000 patients in the U.S. who die every year due to medical complications and hospitalizations resulting from poor medication adherence. Medication adherence also costs the U.S. over $100 billion annually.
“We hope Memorandum will create a populace that is more aware and informed about their health to improve adherence and self-care,” Patel says. If they win the competition, Patel and his team plan to implement a pilot test of the software in a Boston-area community health center and at a medical center in Bangalore, India.
You can also register for our first ever MedTALK Boston Networking Night, on May 13th, for similar conversation and collaboration.
Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.
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