ParrotMD received a Silver award at the 2015 reSET Impact Awards, an annual event that celebrates winners of the Impact Challenge and honors impactful, innovative and viable early-stage ventures and startups from all industries.
Impact Award winners shared information about their companies and their experiences with Innovation Destination: Hartford. Read the interview and watch a video with Steven Graf, co-founder of ParrotMD.
IDH: When did you start the company?
GRAF: ParrotMD started in January 2014.
IDH: How did you develop the business concept?
GRAF: I was working in a medical clinic in Ghana and found that half the patients who came to our clinic returned without improving, or they were even sicker. They could not read the medical prescription instructions we were writing to them because they were illiterate.
Many patients would not take the medication at all because they were afraid to touch it without knowing how to take it; others would take multiple doses at once thinking more medication would help them heal quicker.
After returning from Ghana, I teamed up with Charles Fayal and we created a few prototypes for a recording device that would allow physicians and pharmacists to audibly record prescription directions for illiterate patients in these countries. After testing the devices in Guatemala and getting good feedback, we began making more devices abroad. We also found that there were many patients in the U.S. who could benefit from the device, including elderly patients, eye care patients and patients who did not speak English.
IDH: What services does ParrotMD provide?
GRAF: Currently ParrotMD sells a prescription recording device to caretakers and medical clinics throughout the world. The end users are patients who are visually impaired, do not speak English or are illiterate.
IDH: How did you get involved in the reSET Impact Challenge?
GRAF: After speaking with a few people at reSET, we found that they had so much to offer. Our goal at ParrotMD to help patients take their medications correctly aligned well under the social enterprise theme that was central to the Impact Challenge.
We want to be a health services company that will offer innovative solutions to help patients adhere to their medications and participate more in their health.
IDH: What’s your advice for entrepreneurs or startup business owners?
GRAF: The big piece of advice I have for entrepreneurs and startup business owners is to stay persistent, keep an open mind to various opportunities and never stop trying to improve on your product.