Medication adherence is a serious issue for care providers — especially in light of recent statistics that show drug overdoses deaths are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., surpassing automobile accidents, guns, and HIV. It’s important for doctors to track the prescriptions they’re doling out, especially of potentially-addictive medications like painkillers.
One Atlanta startup is helping healthcare providers maintain control over prescriptions by bringing smart connections to prescriptions. Intent Solutions, a company in the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) portfolio, is tackling the market with a cloud-connected device that dispenses prescriptions only in certain amounts and at certain times.
CEO Sam Zamarripa, a former Georgia state senator, built out a team and Board with a group of technology and medical industry veterans. In 2016 they raised a seed round of $1.5 million and are now in the process of raising a Series A.
“In 2015, we studied the markets, funded the company — fast forward to today, we are an ATDC company with nine employees and have raised just over three million dollars capital. We are also fully commercial,” says Zamarripa.
Describe the actual device.
The technology itself is called ‘tad’, which is an acronym ‘Take As Directed’. It’s about the size of two packs of cards, and the device actually contains the medications inside, so if you were a user you don’t have access to all the medications at once. You can only take the medications as per the regimen. So for example, if you take a dose three times a day our device is programmable to communicate with your smartphone and notify you those three times that you have a prescription available. You put your finger on the device, which is a biometric, and it will dispense the medications to you. At the same time, the device can read that dispensation notice to the cloud.
Who are your clients and what’s your revenue model?
Our sectors are firstly, clinical research, or large pharmaceutical companies trying to bring a medication to the market so they can collect data on adherence. We’re also in the chronic pain medicine space, where people are taking medications because they have some kind of chronic condition that requires pain meds. And then we’re also in what’s called specialty pharma.
We’re really set up to be a B2B enterprise. Today, there are literally tens of millions of people under chronic pain management and a lot of the companies that do that are very large, doctor-driven enterprises. We sell a service, so if we contract it with you, we provide the devices and stream the data and then we guarantee that you’ll have all the devices you need anywhere and anytime.
What’s been the product timeline up to now?
Most of our work in the prototype phase was with Johns Hopkins. We were there for almost a year in a small trial. We won’t have devices in the market until later this year because we spent most of 2017 working out design and software issues and growing — we went from two people to nine people. We have contracts located in Florida and in Austin, Texas.
We’ve already placed the orders for all the technology that we’re going to deploy in the first quarter of next year. And for the balance of the fall all we’re working on is getting out there and securing new customers and then making sure that our technology is available in the early part of the year.
What else is on the calendar for the next year?
We just raised $1.5 million dollars last week and we’re going to raise another 3 million for the company going forward. Our first full year of business we think will deploy about 3000 devices. And our first customer orders for the work we’re going to do in Q1 is 300 devices, so we’ll grow every quarter to almost double the numbers of devices we put out.