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How PatchRx bolstered resilience of its supply chain with Cofactr

Discover how PatchRx used Cofactr to simplify supply chain management and support its rapid growth.

About PatchRx

As many as 40% to 50% of Americans fail to take their chronic long-term therapy medications as prescribed. Poor adherence contributes to more than $500 billion in avoidable healthcare costs, around 125,000 potentially preventable deaths, and up to 25% of hospitalizations, annually, in the United States alone.

PatchRx, a Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) technology startup is solving this problem by delivering smart medication compliance hardware and software solutions for healthcare providers. PatchRx facilitates greater transparency between patients and providers around medication usage and provides physicians an acute understanding of adherence that for the first time allows them to address issues proactively rather than at the end of a cycle of care.

The benefits are twofold: PatchRx’s solution improves the quality of patient care as well as the relationships between patients and providers. The goal is to improve health outcomes without increasing patient burden, all while making it easier for doctors and nurses to oversee treatments. The solution supports patients on high-risk medications (including opioids) with the aim to mitigate misuse and overuse — factors that can lead to higher total costs of care, hospitalization, and in some tragic instances, death.

Smart pill bottle cap + direct observational therapy = better health outcomes

PatchRX's PatchCap

The solution includes an industry-first innovation, a universally-fit smart pill bottle cap called PatchCap. PatchCap is an easy-to-install device designed to fit within nearly all types of medicine bottles. Its built-in sensing package and proprietary algorithm automatically tracks medication as users take them and reports dosing data back to nurses who will periodically check-in with patients about their therapies. These data and conversations give providers greater insight into their patients’ wellbeing and allow them to make more informed decisions when prescribing medication.

Growing pains in healthcare technology

“Innovating in healthcare is incredibly rewarding. Our company is part of a more holistic movement towards value-based healthcare that’s focused heavily on improved patient outcomes and it’s great to see the tangible impact that our solution can provide.“ — Miles Bock, PatchRx’s Director of Research & Development

The healthcare industry in the US is renowned for domination by large incumbents and its rigorous regulatory landscape. Government policies and restrictions have a significant impact on shaping the boundaries and defining what you can and cannot do. 

As Miles explains, 

“New regulations in healthcare, and programs like RTM in particular, have been a great catalyst for impactful innovation. That said, healthcare is still a challenging industry for young companies. High development costs, compliance hurdles, and legacy systems abound. You have to be dynamic in everything – sales, strategy, even supply chain and production.”

That dynamism was necessary in the summer of 2021 when CMS announced the RTM program. PatchRx was prepared, with a working proof of concept and team of experienced healthcare advisors. Demand was strong, but scaling proved challenging. Still on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, global supply chains were in disarray, and PatchRx’s lean team needed devices faster than they could produce them. 

From ad-hoc to proactive procurement: leveraging Cofactr for the entire hardware supply chain

Initially, their approach to supply chain and inventory management relied heavily on ad-hoc planning, where components were ordered on an as-needed basis just before running out. A year and a half ago, they began using Cofactr and have since collaborated with them for three complete manufacturing cycles. Along the way, the team has transitioned to a more proactive approach and made significant progress in supply chain management, improving their overall manufacturing processes and efficiency.

“With Cofactr, it was easier to procure components on short timelines. Otherwise, we’d have to go through traditional channels, which made procurement obscenely and prohibitively long.”

Cofactr helped them truly streamline procurement processes by facilitating easy access to multiple, verified distributors from a single dashboard. The team also relies on Cofactr’s services for virtually all hardware-related needs from sourcing the BOM, securely storing inventory, quality assurance, kitting, and shipping to contract manufacturers. 

It all works in a transparent way: the PatchRx team receives real-time data on everything from availability and prices to lead times, enabling them to make informed decisions and plan their inventory with improved accuracy and reduced error rates, without any additional burden on team members. 

Scaling operations to improve the health of more patients

In the past year, the PatchRx team has grown their headcount from 15 to 60 employees to continue their scaling efforts. Thanks to Cofactr, there has been minimal need to hire additional staff to support their supply chain and logistics departments. 

The team described Cofactr’s support team as “fantastic and unbelievably responsive”. Whenever they reached out to them, they received a response within minutes and effectively had their issue resolved in ten minutes. Using Cofactr’s platform and collaborating with their team eliminated human error in the supply chain, as well as the worries about missing production deadlines.

“We can’t imagine having to remember and keep track of everything around procurement and inventory manually. Cofactr has been a sensational partner: they freed up so much time and resources, allowing us to focus on what’s really important, improving the health of patients.”

In the near future, the team plans to use another one of Cofactr’s key features, Risk & Compliance, which will help them proactively monitor compliance, mitigate potential risks, and ensure the continued alignment with regulatory standards.

As Cofactr consistently introduces new features, the PatchRx team expects to further expand the collaboration as their own operations continue to scale. The team envisions using Cofactr for the entire procurement cycle from R&D to materials landing as one holistic solution, reducing risk every step of the way.

Miles Bock

Director of Research and Development - PatchRx

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