We’ve all heard it before. If you’ve got a headache take a pain relief medicine, if you have a sore throat try a throat soar relief. But with thousands of medications out there, what happens when you don’t know which one to take? We’ll give you a hint: ask your pharmacist. Aside from providing prescription, pharmacists help guide patients on how, when, and what not to take with their meds. Just like the whole “don’t eat any sardines when on antibiotics,” they tell you what drugs to avoid if you’re pregnant, have a medical condition, or are on certain pills. To further provide patients with a better experience and health assessment, InnoPharma went on to CPPS - a software that provides pharmacists with an extra hand.
What is InnoPharma?
Established in 2018, InnoPharma stands for innovation in pharmacy. Created by university lecturer and clinical pharmacist Enas Mokhemar, its main purpose is to decrease medication error and evaluate a patient’s condition. “This concept stemmed from my personal experience,” Enas shared.
She explained that one day, the pharmacy she worked at was crowded with people that needed help. She tried as much as possible to evenly distribute her time and offer tips when prescribing meds. But she wished there was something that could help her. “I tried to ask my patients all the necessary questions before prescribing any drug,” Enas explained. "Then I tried to guide them on the usage and side effects of each, but it was challenging to tackle everything without any help.”
Enas went on to create her startup, and from there, she designed her first project: CPPS, which stands for Computerized Pharmaceutical Pictogram Solution, AKA the boost she needed.
How Does CPPS Work?
Following extensive research and interviews with 60 pharmacists, the CPPS software came to be. Downloadable by pharmacies, once a drug is scanned, CPPS displays a list of questions and warnings on the screen. “This is to tell if it’s safe for the patient to take these meds.” Enas further added,” For example, if they’ve been prescribed Motrin—a pain reliever and fever reducer, they can’t take it with Advil. Since both are ibuprofens, taking them together will result in stomach bleeding.” Similarly, both aforementioned drugs cannot be given to pregnant women. The software then advices pharmacists to ask women if they’re pregnant and warn other patients to avoid Advil or other ibuprofens.
It has over a thousand medications in its database and is continuously being updated. The usage, tips, and warnings of each med can be viewed via a mobile application available to the patient. Furthermore, they will be downloaded on the med’s package, and a patient’s electronic health record will be stored immediately following purchase.
The Tank by Umniah
Following the funding they received from Abdul Hameed Shoman foundation after their win at the 2017 PHI Research and Innovative Competition, InnoPharma decided to seek The Tank’s help to map out their strategy. Inas referred to the incubator as “The InnoPharma’s cornerstone” whereby they learned how to manage their money, received mentorship in several fields, and were exposed to networking opportunities. The Tank also opened up the door for a full sponsorship to Intelligent Health Forum in Switzerland back in 2019. Speaking of that year, thanks to the guidance it received, the startup became a semi-finalist in the MIT Arab Startup Competition! They also have a pitch coming soon in the Silicon Valley! Quite impressive if you ask us.
While the CPPS was supposed to launch in three months, COVID-19 halted the launch, but fear not, the software will soon be available as promised. The startup is taking the time to study some additional features that include involving doctors in the guidance process. And drumroll please… they’re pitching their concept in April 2021 at the Silicon Valley! We’re keeping a look out for them to become the next big thing.
On a final note, Enas wanted to share a few words to aspiring young entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own businesses. “There is no straight-line to success. Accept failure, seek help, be passionate about what you’re doing, and enjoy the journey. It won’t be easy, but it will most certainly be worth it.” You heard it folks. Dream big and work hard!