When Amaan Rumi’s business incubator team at Westlake High School came up with the idea to create an app that helps people manage medications and keep track of things like conflicting drugs and patient allergies, he thought of his grandmother his.
“The first thing I thought of was what happened to my grandmother. “The doctors gave her a certain dose of medication and she was in bed for two days in a row, she could hardly move,” he said. “I thought this would be a way to prevent people like my grandmother from being readmitted to the hospital, and just people in general, because I’ve seen it myself. It’s actually a very big deal.”
The team of five spent the year drafting their business plan and won as part of the business incubator class. In May, they won $15,000 in the school’s pitch competition. A few months later, in July, the team was selected to compete in a national competition and won that too.
The app, called PharmAssist, has a simple goal: make taking medication safer for patients.
“We have features like reminders to take your medication and also drug interactions to make sure the medication you’re taking doesn’t interfere with a personal condition or other medications you’re already taking,” said the Westlake student, Megan Swett. “The platform is where you can communicate with loved ones or if you have a caregiver or something to communicate with them so they know if you’re staying on track with your medication.”
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Many other apps have similar features, according to student Andrew Depew. What makes PharmAssist different is that it combines all these aspects together in one place.
The team won $10,000 at nationals and to get there had to find an investment to match the funding, which they are in the process of securing. The group worked all summer on the business and plan to continue working as part of Westlake’s business accelerator course during their senior year.
The app’s business model includes several revenue stream options — patients can sign up directly and pay $5 a month for the service, hospitals can sign people up to try to avoid the fee they pay when Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days and companies can pay to advertise on the app.
The next step is to start building and testing the app, which will likely take several months. The group plans to reach out to clinics like Baylor Scott and White and work with them as part of the testing process. Swett said it’s really important to gather and implement feedback, especially for an app that deals with something as delicate as healthcare.
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The students said they were excited to work on a project that would help people.
“Whenever we first had that, I knew I was really getting it,” senior Mason Mireur said. “I know it’s something meaningful and something I can be passionate about rather than something I don’t really care about.”
Team member Parker Steen said he transferred to Westlake last year and was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the business incubator, since his old school didn’t have a similar program.
“I saw this as an opportunity to make it more than just a classroom and actually turn it into a business that we’re not just going to be working with for another year, but maybe many years to come,” he said. . “Health care is not an easy thing to solve, but as young people with great resources and a lot of motivation, we believe we can get there.”