Today we are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a patent for an invention that addresses a pressing issue for nearly 160 million Americans.
Last week, the US Patent Office granted us a patent for invention number 10,558,878 for our Pill Planner application, which was designed to help patients manage multiple medications by using augmented reality (AR) to guide the placement of pills into a patient's pill box.
"This patent is the culmination of a truly fascinating combination of patient stories, clinical experiences, and the brilliant creativity of technologists like Ziv Schneider," said Tim Fitzpatrick, CEO at IKONA. "Its one thing to have a compelling idea or minimum viable product in front of you and a handful of early users, but a patent means we have a viable path towards solving a problem faced by countless patients every single day."
The idea for the Pill Planner was born several years ago while Hillary Bekelis, a nurse practitioner on IKONA's clinical education team, was working with kidney and liver transplant patients. Her patients and their families were struggling to manage their medications. And it is no surprise that this is the case, especially given that kidney transplant patients take, on average, 8 to 10 transplant-related medications daily, as well as prophylactic anti-infective medications, anti-ulcer medications, and medications for comorbidities and risk factors that contribute to ESRD, such as diabetes.
"This is how the idea started to develop: for patients to have an app that showed them exactly how to fill their pill boxes to help avoid medication errors and relieve stress for the patients and caregivers," said Hillary Bekelis. "This patent is an exciting opportunity to develop a tool that can help patients transition back to their homes, avoid costly medical errors, and save time."
Using a unique combination of computer vision, machine learning and biometric authentication, the Pill Planner application will restore confidence in one of the most historically challenging transitions for patients to navigate. It is because of our novel approaches to massive pain points in healthcare that we have been able to forge meaningful partnerships and join industry-leading programs like NVIDIA's AI Inception Program that will help propel us forward, improve our core offerings, and ultimately, to reach more patients.
With nearly half of all Americans taking prescription medications and 41 million taking five or more, tools like the Pill Planner will offer patients and their families the support they need when and where they need it most.