Meet HealthPrize, a medication incentive platform

Steven Loeb · February 3, 2015 · Short URL:

Vator will be highlighting the up-and-coming healthcare companies before Splash Health on Feb. 12th

With Vator Splash Health coming up soon, we've been focusing on different aspects of the healthtech space, including the companies that have raised the most money and  how quickly the space itself has been growing in recent years.

One big part of that involves discovering what the future of healthtech looks like, and the up and coming companies.

So VatorNews reached out to venture capitalists who invest in health companies to find out from them: who are the next generation of health companies, and the ones that will disrupt and shape the space in years to come.

One such company is HealthPrize Technologies, which offers an online and mobile platform to enhance adherence to prescription medications via rewards, education and fun. Founded in 2009, the company has raised $10 million from angel investors and Mansa Capital.

I spoke to Dr. Katrina Firlik, co-founder and chief medical officer of HealthPrize Technologies, about the company and its mission.

EDITOR'S NOTE: On February 12th, Vator will be holding its first ever Splash Health event in Oakland, where speakers such as Dr. Katrina Firlik, Tom Lee, Founder & CEO of One Medical, and Ryan Howard, Founder & CEO of Practice Fusion, will be talking about the state of the healthtech space, and where they think it is going . Firlik will be participating on a panel entitled, "The New Care Delivery Model." (Get your tickets here). 

VatorNews: What is the problem that you are trying to solve and how you are trying to 
solve it?

Katrina Firlik: The problem is medication nonadherence, which refers to patients not  sticking with their medications for chronic conditions. It’s the root cause of an  estimated $290 billion of otherwise avoidable healthcare spending per year in the US due to complications of chronic disease that could have been avoided. It’s a problem across all conditions, not only in hypertension and high cholesterol, but also in transplant patients (who risk rejecting their transplanted organ if they don’t take their meds) and in people with glaucoma (who risk blindness).

We created a digital platform that tracks medication usage and refills, and rewards  patients for sticking with their meds as prescribed. Points earned are redeemed  in the Rewards Mall for a variety of gift cards, merchandise, and charitable  donations. We also include education to bolster intrinsic motivation over time,  for additional points, of course. In short, we aim to make the act of taking more  enjoyable, less of a chore. We’re all about improving the patient experience.

VN: Who is your average customer and what is a typical use case for HealthPrize? 

KF: We customize programs based on the drug and condition, such that we have  multiple programs and patient groups. We have run programs in acne with an  average age of early 20’s and programs in hypertension and diabetes with an  average age of mid 50’s. Some of the drugs are oral, others are topical, and  others injectable. Programs to date are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.  We also plan to sell to insurance companies in the near future.

VN: How do you want to change the healthcare space? What is your vision for  what it will look like in five to ten years thanks to what HealthPrize is doing? 

KF: We want to enhance the patient experience surrounding the need to take a chronic medication. This word isn’t used enough in healthcare, but we aim to add the “fun” factor so often missing in healthcare and healthcare solutions. I would be thrilled if, 10 years from now, rewards programs for medication were as common as credit card points programs and airline miles programs, such that  patients were encouraged to stick with important medications long-term, rather  than quit altogether (as half currently do within the first year on treatment). I’m a  former surgeon who saw the downstream complications of nonadherence all the  time in my practice. I’d love it if, in the future, patients didn’t need to see a  surgeon so often!

Displaying HealthPrizeDesktop.jpg

VN: How many users do you currently have?

KF: We’ve had approximately 20,000 patients enroll in programs across a number of conditions, mainly pilot programs  to date. We are currently in a growth phase with plans to now go from pilot to  commercial for various medications.

VN: Have you been able to calculate any health benefits to those who use HealthPrize?

We have been able to demonstrate a 50% lift in mean number of  prescription fills per patient, a marker of medication adherence, and there is  good compelling data out there already linking better adherence to better outcomes.

VN: Is there anything else you feel is important for people to know about HealthPrize?

KF: We have very high levels of engagement with our platform. The average patient logs in approximately 4 times per week, which is a very high level of engagement for a healthcare platform!

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HealthPrize Technologies


Joined Vator on

HealthPrize offers a digital medication adherence platform that leverages rewards, education, and gamification to motivate patients to stick with their prescription medications. Patients on HealthPrize are highly engaged: they log in over 4 times per week and demonstrate mean prescription fill rates that are 50% higher than average. Its proprietary prescription verification system verifies each prescription fill for accuracy in adherence tracking. The company currently sells its platform on a SaaS basis primarily to pharmaceutical companies. 


Katrina Firlik, MD

Joined Vator on

Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of HealthPrize Technologies. Prior to founding HealthPrize, Katrina was a neurosurgeon. She is also the author of Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside. @KatrinaFirlik