MedaChek CEO Jeffrey Shepard says the inspiration for MedaCheck came because he was forgetting to take his medication. (Images courtesy of MedaCheck)
There's a good reason the Tri-State has a reputation for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship: The region is home to a number of business incubators and plenty of smart, creative people to keep them busy.
Each Monday WCPO Contributor Feoshia Davis talks with local start-up and entrepreneurial all stars.
MedaCheck is working to bring accessible tech products to the healthcare consumer market.
The Cincinnati-based startup's signature product helps people remember to take their medications as doctor's advise.
Become a WCPO Insider to hear what CEO Jeffrey Shepard says his company can do for both consumers and the healthcare industry.
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CINCINNATI - MedaCheck is working to bring accessible tech products to the healthcare consumer market.
The Cincinnati startup's signature product PillBox helps people remember to take their medications as doctor's advise.
PillBox also communicates with caregivers who, through MedaCheck product CheckIn, can communicate and monitor patient progress in real-time.
9 Questions for MedaCheck CEO Jeffrey Shepard
1. How did you get the idea for MedaCheck?
My idea for MedaCheck came from me forgetting to take my medication and thinking about all the possibilities for what an "app" could do to help me remember. After digging a bit deeper and learning about the products that were in the marketplace, I felt that making a move to hardware would strengthen our potential for success and make what we were building different from the competition, and truly be a solution that could change behaviors for people.
After about six months of building software, my vision became a reality. Since focusing our energy around hardware development and the endless possibilities that MedaCheck provides in terms of both education and behavioral change, we have grown immensely. We have an amazing team of really focused, smart people that continue to build on my original vision building a product with endless possibilities.
2. In a nutshell, how does MedaCheck's product work?
PillBox helps people remember each and all of their medications so that they can follow any treatments as advised. Pillbox’s communication platform works with CheckIn, which gives real-time feedback on patients to healthcare professionals. It allows for better management of patients by their caretakers and healthcare professionals, because they always know the status of each person.
Last, when we talk about hardware, we are referring to Checkbox. Checkbox is the hardware device behind our integrated system, and it has been designed to be as easy to use as a toaster. All someone has to do is plug it into any outlet, and it’s ready to use!
3. What is the "big vision" for MedaCheck?
We currently are in the process of building out the "big vision" for MedaCheck. Our underlying mission has been to provide a platform that improves the quality of life for people. MedaCheck is the simplified solution to better manage treatments, medication and even supplements—so our big vision is to see this scale and create positive change. We’ve all witnessed so many areas where things are getting simpler with today’s technology. We need the treatment process, for us and our loved ones, to also be as simple. That’s what we’re trying to do.
4. Who are the target clients for your software and hardware?
Our customers are employers, pharmacies, health insurers, healthcare providers and facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturers, health networks and cooperatives. We also know that a strong market exists for people who have aging loved ones who would benefit from having this product in their home or residence. These people often see MedaCheck as a support system for when they can’t be right by their loved ones’ side.
5. What do you offer that's better than what's currently available?
The MedaCheck platform is a hardware and software solution that works alongside healthcare professional. It's first and the only one of its kind. We’ve created a system that touches both caretaker and patient. We feel it's a better way to help change behaviors for the long-term in terms of following treatments and prescriptions. We also know that our target market for this needs technology that’s as easy-to-use, and as user-friendly as possible. It also has to “live” in their environment. That’s exactly what we’ve designed. Other stand-alone apps just don’t do that, and just don’t have the comprehensive database of treatments and prescriptions backing it, either.
6. Do you have any new products on the horizon?
We are currently finalizing our medication reminder hardware. We also have some other products that we are working on that we will be exploring with some of our beta clients later in the year.
7. What role have local resources (investors, incubators) have helped develop the business?
We have had tremendous support from a great number of people and organizations in Cincinnati. We have been really fortunate to be a part of the HCBC incubation process and have been an active member in the Cintrifuse community . We also have a close relationship with many of our investors that are members of the Queen City Angels. Without the unselfish support of these three groups, we would have not had the success that we have experienced to date.
8. What is the biggest challenge to MedaCheck's continued growth?
The biggest challenge is growing fast and finding great people to help with that growth. Currently we are
in the process of hiring people to fill various key positions. The key is finding people that are the "right fit" to help our company be successful. This is critical to success, and we are spending a lot of time to get the right people.
9. What's next for MedaCheck? We are excited about bringing our product to the public in the next couple months. If you are interested in checking our product and being a part of our public beta feel free to go to our website or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect with WCPO Contributor Feoshia Davis on Twitter: @feoshiawrites. Look for a new column each Monday.