Sticking to prescription drugs and supplements is a problem that not only puts the long-term health of millions of patients at risk but it’s a problem that could add an extra $100 to $300 billion in health care costs in the U.S. alone.
A startup called Mango Health has an innovative solution. It is bringing a mobile app into beta that will help patients stay on track with their prescription medications and supplements. Mango Health is adapting some of the triggers and rewards from the social gaming industry to the complex world of health care.
Mango Health has by now raised about $1.5 million from a number of investors including First Round Capital, Baseline’s Steve Anderson, Floodgate’s Mike Maples, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and Square’s chief operating officer Keith Rabois.
The app includes daily reminders to take drugs at different times. Patients can self-report that they’ve stayed on schedule by taking photos of their drug containers.
The more they stay on track, the more rewards they get. Mango Health has teamed up with a number of unnamed brands at the moment to offer users rewards like magazine subscriptions, discounts on groceries and gift cards.
The difference between Mango Health and other health tech-related startups is that it’s aiming for a very, very big potential user base. Those who produce add-ons or hardware, only reach out to a pool of a few million users who are motivated enough to spend money on devices. Similarly, fitness apps reach people who really want to make the effort to stay in shape.
However, it is estimated that four out five people in the U.S. have to take some kind of prescription drug or supplement.