Echo, an app which makes life easier for people on long-term medication, has today announced its launch. Along with that, the company has dispensed details about fundraising in its seed round worth £1.8 million. The seed investment round was led by LocalGlobe, along with the participation of Global Founders Capital.
The app, which is claimed to make life easier for people on long-term medication, does so by removing the hassle of repeat prescription management. Users make requests via the app which are sent to their existing NHS GP for approval. Once approved, prescriptions are sent to Echo’s partner pharmacies for dispensing, and dispatched by Royal Mail.
Echo works with existing prescription workflows, so it’s compatible with all NHS GP surgeries. The app also uses natural language processing to convert GP directions into reminders, automatically prompting users when to take their medication and when they’re about to run out.
Commenting on Echo, its founder Dr. Sai Lakshmi said:
Once the user has their medication, the chances are they will take it properly. Forgetfulness is the number one reason for non-adherence. With UK smartphone penetration passing 80%, there’s a huge opportunity to use mobile technology to nudge people towards better health. We want to make adherence the path of least resistance, significantly improving health outcomes and reducing waste.
The company is founded by Dr. Sai Lakshmi and Stephen Bourke. They have built a multidisciplinary team of doctors, pharmacists, and technologists, to achieve their mission of improving medication adherence. The team also works with a leading London GP practice, the Hurley Group, to optimise communication between the patient, GP, and pharmacist.
Dr. Murray Ellender, GP Partner at the Hurley Group, said:
We are excited to be working with Echo as it provides patients with a hassle-free way to better manage their medication. A doctor’s time is precious, so by eliminating unnecessary appointments Echo will make our GP’s lives easier and improve clinical outcomes for patients.
The startup conducted a research and found that patients aged 25-34 years are the worst at making sure they take their medicine, with more than a third (37%) admitting that they occasionally forget to request a repeat prescription in time.
Further, it says that men are twice as likely as women to require an emergency appointment. Worryingly, 23% of 35-44 years olds say that they have gone without medication due to not having a prescription. Those with children under 16 are amongst the least adherent. In contrast, only 6% of retirees say they have unintentionally run out.