Irish health-tech start-ups win big pharmacy deals in the US and UK

6 Sep 2022

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HealthBeacon and HasHealth have both bagged deals with US and UK pharmacies that will see their tech reach more patients.

Days after getting listed on a US market, Dublin medtech HealthBeacon has struck a deal with the American Pharmacists Association Foundation (AphA) that will see its tech deployed across US pharmacies.

Founded in 2013 by Jim Joyce and Kieran Daly, HealthBeacon is a digital therapeutics company that has built an injection care management system. This aims to help patients manage injectable medications, adhere to treatment schedules and safely dispose of used sharps.

Last week, the Irish company began trading in the US on the OTCQX market, making it easier for US investors to trade in its stock.

In December, the medtech went public on Euronext’s growth market in Dublin. This followed a multimillion-dollar North American deal in June 2021 and a funding round at the end of September that raised €6m.

The latest commercial partnership with the APhA will enable patients to access enhanced medication use support through an integrated pharmacist offering with HealthBeacon’s injection care management system in community pharmacies across the US.

Starting this month, US pharmacies will be able to offer the company’s technology to patients on injectable medications, supporting HealthBeacon’s goal of reaching 100,000 patients using its tech by the first quarter of 2024.

Joyce, who is CEO of HealthBeacon, said that the community pharmacy setting is “an excellent location for patients to access innovative pharmacist-delivered medication adherence support and tools”.

“Today half of all patients fail to utilise medications as prescribed, costing healthcare systems billions of avoidable costs and the patients their underlying health. Together [with APhA] we have developed a best-in-class tech and service offering to address this challenge,” he said.

“We believe this is a positive step in making our technology more accessible to patients across the US and that it will provide us with a model to deploy in other markets in the future.”

The APhA Foundation is an affiliated non-profit of the American Pharmacists Association, the national professional association of pharmacists in the US. It has developed a novel adherence service called THERxAPYTM, which will integrate with HealthBeacon’s technology.

“The evidence base supporting the role of the pharmacist in improving medication adherence through patient-centred, team-based care services is strong and continues to grow,” said Benjamin Bluml, APhA Foundation executive director and senior VP of research and innovation.

“The APhA Foundation’s research and innovation … aims to create a new medication use system where patients, pharmacists, physicians and other healthcare professionals collaborate in interprofessional way to improve the cost effectiveness and quality of patient health outcomes.”

HasHealth wins six-figure UK deal

Meanwhile another Irish health-tech start-up, HasHealth, has struck a six-figure deal with one of the largest pharmacy chains in the UK to provide an online booking system and make it easier for patients to access healthcare.

The deal with Rowlands Pharmacy will see HasHealth become the online booking provider of clinical services across almost 6,000 pharmacies in the UK.

HasHealth is part of Medihive, formerly known as Webdoctor. It is an Irish healthcare software business that provides a booking system, waitlist features, medical pre-screen questionnaires and resource management capabilities to improve everyday workflows and patient experiences.

“Rowlands Pharmacy has done an incredible job during the pandemic; we believe the industry is perfectly placed to provide front-line support to patients with a range of chronic conditions and support patients in staying healthy,” said Medihive CEO David Crimmins.

“It is crucial to free up pharmacists’ time, allowing them to expand their role in the community while also improving the efficiency of the patient journey,” added Olan O’Sullivan, head of growth at HasHealth.

“HasHealth does this by automating patient communication and clinical data capture, giving pharmacists up to 20 hours back per week.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic