Making Actionable Health Information More Accessible Through Point-of-Care Testing

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Hector Bremner, CEO of Avricore Health, sat down with me to explore the benefits of comprehensive point-of-care testing for patient monitoring, real-world studies, and decentralized clinical trials; how his company is working on becoming the world’s largest health data company; and why they’re focusing on pharmacists to achieve this goal (plus much more!). 

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: I always like to understand what the problem statement is. I’m assuming of course that Avricore Health, which is the maker of HealthTab, started in British Columbia and it’s obviously a Canadian product that’s probably moving outwards and globally but what were they out to specifically solve? What was the problem statement?

A: It’s a really good question. It’s a publicly-traded entity, there was a board of directors, it was a group of individuals, and it’s a cross-license generic drug company. It was importing generics and selling them in pharmacies. They have been doing it for close to 20 years but for those following the drug world, they know that an extraordinary amount of pressure has been put on the cost of generics and IP, and so on and so on, including pharmacists. Pharmacies had their fee structure change dramatically including in 2015 were about $4 billion where the revenue was taken out of the sector in Canada alone.

There were some pharmacists on this board of directors and some people involved said, “Look, the future is not going to be cross-license generic drug, the future is going to be service revenues in the pharmacy.” Because the pharmacy is having pressures to change, the drug sector was changing so rapidly on the profitability side, and then thirdly, there was the consumer itself. The consumers themselves are saying, “How do we interface with healthcare today?” I think it’s a big question for many people. In Canada, speaking in the Canadian context, we technically have a universal health care system. You kind of have to use air quotes when you say that because it’s not really universal. I mean anybody can access it but that access is not universal. Where you live, your economic profile your household income, gender, race, all of these come into play as to how and what services you’re able to really access, when, and how.

For most people, they want more control, they want information upfront, they want an agency as it’s called but the health care system is not really built for that. You’re much more of a passenger in your own healthcare and that doesn’t work for the consumer. The consumer is turning to Dr. Google, which is a problem because people are now getting maybe wrong information or not getting enough information. Sure they’re going and getting pharmacogenomics done through 23andme or whatever but that’s telling you the odds. It’s not really telling you where you’re at today.

The physician is saying, “Well look, you know we get paid for one question in 15 minutes, this is how this works.” Most people don’t have a family doctor anymore and so the patient is left in this troubling position. The pharmacy wants to fill that. They need new revenues and so they can drive that on the service side but they don’t have the tools. The pain point really became putting those tools and using these technologies in the pharmacy setting and driving a patient experience that they’re more in the driver seat, they’re using evidence-based care as the core driver of the conversation and the pharmacist is able to fill this really important gap. You now have true universal access to healthcare. Anybody can walk into a pharmacy, everybody has a pharmacy that’s close to them, you can walk up to the counter and you can just ask your question and sit in this consultation room and take a test on a world-class, laboratory-grade machine, not typically found in a pharmacy.

Our technology will share that result with you in real-time, meaning “you” being the patient but it also interfaces with the physician, the pharmacist, and others to make sure that information gets to the player that’s needed in order to serve you better. We’re really trying to wrap a patient-driven experience that’s truly equitable and democratizing real access to the type of preventative care, early detection, and screening that is largely missing. It’s usually reserved for a select group of people in our society today.

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Hector Bremner, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.

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