Connected Pillbox Startup Fellow Launches Product Aimed at Improving Medication Adherence

Fellow, a Dreamit HealthTech alum that has developed a solution to improve medication adherence, launched last week with backing from Independence Blue Cross, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Penn Medicine.

People who sign up for Fellow receive a smart pillbox, which detects when they have or haven’t taken their medications and can send reminders via light, sound, text, call, or email. The company also offers technical and customer support to members and their families to ensure they can ask questions about their prescriptions.

Approximately 50% of chronic condition patients don’t take their medications as prescribed. This lack of medication adherence among people with chronic conditions leads to increased healthcare costs and the potential for a variety of health complications.

For example, research in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that in the United States, medication non-adherence causes 125,000 deaths and 10% of all hospitalizations every year. The same report suggested that medication non-adherence contributes between $100B - $289B in additional costs to the U.S. healthcare system each year.

“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.”

Fellow also plans to keep the families of chronic condition patients informed about their loved ones’ health and wellbeing.

“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.”

Rahul Jain, Hareesh Ganesan, and Ankur Aggarwal co-founded Fellow (formerly known as Towerview Health) in 2014.