Glow Caps from Vitality Purchased by Billionaire Investor–Pill Bottle With Compliance Data Trails Built In
Posted Feb 04 2011 12:30pm
Patrick Soon-Shiong M.D. is the Los Angeles billionaire investor who has scooped up the company. Overall the product is a good thing as far as the reminder system and keep folks on track. My only concerns is the privacy factors and the data that it creates for sale. In today’s world of technology everything that is “good” and helpful seems to have a back door to money and this could prove to be in the same path. A billionaire is not going to invest to make sure we take our pills, they invest to make money.
The concept of the pill bottle is good and can be helpful but the side of all of this are the profits that it creates for Health IT companies to sell your data. It is what it is. The Colbert Report did a funny video on the Glow Caps a while back too, funny.
I am just a realist when it comes to data and try to keep all informed of where the data goes and who uses and sells it for profit. We all know compliance with taking medications is a priority and want the information used for that purpose and not to create data trails to be used somehow to perhaps deny a medical claim if one were lets say a couple hours late and ended up in the ER room with problems and this is a scenario that could develop. If the data trail showed that one was 2 hours late taking their medications, when the claim arrives for processing would that data trail be held against the patient? Something to give some thought too as millions are made every day selling our medication data.
Ingenix, a division of United Healthcare is one such group that makes big profit on selling your medication information for underwriting purposes and who knows what else as they are the bean counters and data arm of the company and this has been going on for years. We need check and balances throughout our data systems and this is just something to be aware of and that use of such products create a trackable data trail of everything you do with interacting with the product so if you decide to use it, go in with your eyes wide open as there’s no HIPAA coverage here for privacy and HHS has tried many times to establish some rules and regulations here but to no avail so far. The pill bottle has algorithms built in. BD
“HIPAA does not give the Department of Health and Human Services the ability to directly investigate or hold accountable entities, such as pharmacy benefit managers or companies such as Ingenix and Milliman, who are not covered by HIPAA.”
Vitality , which developed a wireless, Internet-connected pill bottle cap to remind patients to take their medication, has been acquired by Patrick Soon-Shiong M.D. Soon-Shiong recently sold his second multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company in three years and was already an investor in Vitality.
Vitality’s main product is the GlowCap, a pill cap with an embedded wireless chip which fits popular prescription bottles. The related home hub illuminates and plays a melody when it’s time to take the medication. If the bottle is not opened two hours after a scheduled dose, the user even gets a phone call reminding him to take his medication.