Catalyst Healthcare Captures Market Demand for Connected Technology by Seniors Wanting to Live at Home

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Marketing campaign in Ontario leads to consumer adoption of digital health technology 'spencer.'

• Seniors and those with chronic health conditions want to maintain their independence and live at home as long as possible.

  • The spencer medication dispensing device is a life-changing solution for people taking multiple medications.
  • Direct to consumer marketing in Ontario led to enthusiastic response from patients and family caregivers.

Today Catalyst shares the consumer response to its connected in-home medication dispenser, spencer ( During a trial campaign in the spring, digital marketing engagement rates were well above industry norms, surpassing expectations and confirming a high level of consumer want and need for a better medication management solution. Building on the enthusiasm, Catalyst launched a larger-scale direct to consumer effort in Ontario with instant results. The overwhelming public response led to rapid adoption of the first 200 spencers allotted to this initial effort and the hiring of a dedicated call team to manage the high volume of inquiries and connect patients with certified pharmacists in their communities.

Catalyst’s Head of Digital Marketing, Isaac Kamen, says: "We’ve been overwhelmed by the community support for spencer. Social engagement numbers have dwarfed industry standards and we’ve had to accelerate our plans to meet the high level of consumer demand.”

spencer is a counter-top device that helps people to take the right doses at the right times. It's especially appreciated by individuals with chronic health conditions who are managing multiple medications — connecting them with their certified pharmacist and improving the chances they’ll be able to stay in their own homes longer. And the spencer technology is a big hit with seniors.

This matters.

Seniors are more likely than younger people to have chronic conditions. 44% of adults 20+ have at least one common chronic condition [1], while nearly one-quarter (24%) of seniors have 3 or more chronic conditions and take an average of six prescription medications on a routine or ongoing basis [2]. Medications are essential to chronic disease management, yet side-effects and reactions to multiple drugs can lower quality of life or even be life-threatening [3].

Taking medications can be complex and difficult to manage. One elderly man had been missing his anti-rejection meds for his kidney transplant and was at risk of losing his kidney before he got spencer. A woman with mild dementia due to a stroke kept missing her anti-coagulants which put her at increased risk of having another stroke. spencer is making a huge difference to people's lives.

“My husband is using spencer and we are thrilled with it. Now when I’m not at home, I don’t need to worry. It gives me peace of mind that my husband won’t miss his doses of meds. It’s extremely easy!!” Kathryn Dubik

“I just received mine a couple of weeks ago and so far, I love it. It has made managing my meds so much easier. It even keeps track of my blood sugar readings, which is a huge help.” Sheri Bunce

The spencer device is about the size of a toaster and it contains pre-sorted medications. It uses audio and visual alerts to remind people to take their medications. In response to an alert, the screen is touched and the exact medications that need to be taken at that time are dispensed.

spencer also connects the patient with their specially certified pharmacist, who can ask about potential side effects via text or video consultation, then collaborate with other members of the patient’s care team, such as a family doctor and specialists. Family caregivers are also kept in the know with an app, which notifies them if their loved one dispenses a dose late or misses one altogether.

When spencer is running low on medications, pharmacies automatically deliver a re-fill to the patient’s home. Across North America, the network of certified pharmacies is rapidly expanding, improving care and accelerating access to this life-changing technology.

There are 49.2 million people over the age of 65 in the US [4], and 75% have multiple chronic conditions. Patients with chronic conditions accounted for $8.3 billion in potentially preventable Emergency Department visits [5].

Planning ahead is crucial for people who wish to age at home [6]. Being proactive and taking advantage of technology is a way that today’s seniors, and others managing chronic illnesses, can have more control over their own futures.

Catalyst Healthcare is an award-winning technology company with offices in Canada and the United States that’s dedicated to improving medication adherence and reducing the costs associated with non-adherence to health systems. Catalyst provides a pharmacy model that improves healthcare delivery and patient care at a scale that reduces system-wide costs. Through Catalyst's medication adherence ecosystem, a suite of connected technologies that gather, share and correlate data in real-time, pharmacists can better serve their patients and play a key role in population health.

[1] Prevalence of Chronic Diseases Among Canadian Adults. [2 Seniors and the Health Care System: What Is the Impact of Multiple Chronic Conditions? [3 Multiple Chronic Conditions Guidelines. [4 The Nation’s Older Population Is Still Growing, Census Bureau Reports, United States Census Bureau, June 2017: [5 Chronic Conditions Account for $8.3B in Avoidable ED Visits. [6 Thinking about your future? Plan now to age in place — A checklist, Government of Canada, September 2018:

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Kasumi Oda
Catalyst Healthcare

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