Varun Goyal got the idea for Illuminate Health from personal experience.
“My wife was prescribed something that shouldn’t be given to anyone that is pregnant,” the Carmel resident said. “That was my eye-opener in this day and age that this is still possible. Once we started to talk to people, everyone had what we call an adverse event, some medication-related complication. That was the driving force to say we can offer a better experience. We want to prevent others from learning the hard way.”
Goyal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Illuminate Health, developed the startup health care tech company’s solution for medication adherence through technological intervention.
“Our goal is to provide a patient-first medication management program right at the user’s fingertips to help patients optimize medications, and thus reduce instances of side effects and hospitalizations,” said Goyal, a software engineer who previously worked in claims management in the health care field.
Goyal said the medication management service has a pharmacist provide concierge-style service, for example, to help a client that might have diabetes. Goyal said they formed a network of approximately 150 pharmacists across the U.S.
“So (the client) can have a mobile app to guide them on a daily basis,” Goyal said. “Here is your medication schedule. This is an action plan. There is an easy way to message the pharmacist. We’ve got a team of fantastic pharmacists who are monitoring and driving that patient care to alleviate confusion of medication management at home.”
Goyal started working on the concept in 2017 and launched it in early 2020.
Indiana University Health helped with the pilot program, working with staff and patients on refining the tools.
“We were initially focused on the hospital market, and going into the pandemic (in March 2020), we had a couple of hospitals ready to implement,” he said. “We were helping people with medication management post-discharge from the hospital.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, hospital access was limited.
“We learned our true customer is the insurance company,” Goyal said. “They are the ones on the hook if someone ends up in the hospital because of a medication complication.”
Goyal said the company is starting a direct-to-consumer offering with a focus on Indiana.
“At the end of the day, we want to get this service in the hands of as many people as possible,” he said. “We’re offering three months free for an annual service. They would purchase the program.”
For more, visit illuminate.health.