Meet Microsoft Civic Tech Scholar: Pilleve

(Rendering of the Pilleve Bottle)

Pilleve aims to prevent the costs of opioid abuse and addiction. Pilleve is an integrated and secure pill bottle that helps care providers, payers, and loved ones identify high risk patients and intervene before the onset of an addiction or overdose. Pilleve assesses if a patient is misusing or abusing their opioids by monitoring their intake in real time. Patients dispense their pills through a secure smartphone application, at a push of a button and receive real time alerts if they are exceeding recommended dosages. Their physicians are alerted through their EHRs if a patient is escalating doses, measured by Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MMEs) , or showing signs of aberrant behavior such tampering with the device.

In doing so, Pilleve aims to save insurance companies and care plans healthcare dollars by decreasing hospital visits, overdoses and long term treatment.

Pilleve will go to market by late August with the largest Pain Clinic in Maryland.

(Rendering of the Pilleve app)

Massachusetts, along with several other states, has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Hundreds of mass residents overdose every month from a variety of substances , including fentanyl, prescription opioids, benzos and heroin. This has called for a statewide bill aimed to curbing these devastating effects. Governor Baker’s action plan along with several other bills aimed at prevention, intervention, and treatment will certainly help decrease the death tool. However, Pilleve believes that data at the point of intake could potentially fill in a gap that’s proven to be elusive for healthcare providers.

The pilleve system connects patients to an array of support at all times to ensure that they don’t slip through the cracks. If a patient requires an intervention, they can receive it remotely. This is a huge asset for providers who see patients in rural areas where care is sporadic. Further, the pilleve pill bottle is designed in a cost effective way, allowing patients to access high quality care at any time who otherwise would not be able to financially attain it. By partnering with private and public insurance companies and keeping costs low, patients who are at higher risks will be able to use the device without worrying about covering the costs. This ensures that patients are using their opioids safely, while limiting the liabilities on both the provider and the payer.

Finally, pilleve will help patients be more in touch and informed about their prescription and health. This will empower patients by encouraging them to be more conscientious about their prescription pills, including consumption and overall use. Placing control in the hands of patients and connecting them to support is an important aspect of civic society today as it relates to harm reduction and overdose prevention.

(Pilleve co-founders Yossuf Albanawi and Gautam Chebrolu show off their 1st Place prize at a MassChallenge event)

Pilleve’s partnership with Microsoft will help accelerate product development and user testing. Using Microsoft’s maker lab, Pilleve will have access to 3d printers, tools for assembly, and a wide array of talent in engineering and software. Further, a reputable name like Microsoft can help Pilleve solidify its position as a credible and upcoming start up in the medtech industry. The scholarship will be used towards product development and manufacturing roughly 20-30 units for the first pilot.

As a MassChallenge finalist, pilleve aims to close its pre seed round and go to pilot ahead of the final showcase. The human capital that comes with being a part of the MassChallenge cohort is a tremendous opportunity for the start up, ranging from mentors to advisors who play a significant role in the industry. Further, the company will seek to work with MassChallenge partners in healthcare, such as CVS, to expand its pilots and go to market strategies. Finally, pilleve will have access to an internationally recognized network of individuals and institutions that will help with market entry and regulatory affairs.

Yossuf Albanawi is the cofounder of Pilleve. He started Pilleve after a personal struggle he once had with substance abuse at a young age. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and speaks three languages, including Arabic, English, and Spanish.

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