- October 8, 2010
- Innovation Insights
- Comments : 0
NBIF Invests in MedRunner’s e-Prescription Technology
SAINT JOHN, (NB) – Every year, pharmacists in Canada alone dispense 450 million paper-based drug prescriptions. In the United States it’s 3.5 billion. Every day, many of those pharmacists struggle with two problems: illegible handwriting and negative drug interactions. Both can lead to adverse health effects.
Today the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) announced a $100,000 venture capital investment, in a new Saint John-based start-up that will eliminate both of those problems: MedRunner. The First Angel Network Association (FAN) also invested $125,000, in addition to $75,000 from private investors for a total round of $300,000.
Created by entrepreneur Todd Murphy and software engineer Kevin Garnett, MedRunner lets physicians submit prescriptions to a patient’s pharmacy electronically, rather than write them by hand. If a physician selects a drug that negatively reacts with another that a patient is taking, the system produces an alert and displays the information that they need sourced directly from the Lexi-Comp’s medical knowledge database.
“As jurisdictions all across Canada and the United States race to make the legislative changes needed to permit electronic prescriptions, the timing of MedRunner’s introduction to the marketplace is optimal,” says NBIF President & CEO Calvin Milbury, “when several investors come to the table, like FAN, NBIF, and other angels, it helps to build the credibility the company needs to raise even more capital when it starts to grow.”
MedRunner is now conducting beta trials with a number of doctors and national pharmacy chains. In addition to successful adoption of the technology, the trials are reporting increases in productivity by both physicians and pharmacists, including reduced waiting times for patients due to telephone verifications.
“MedRunner is exactly the kind of start-up our members are looking to invest in—a product that industry is already asking for, and a management team that has both the business and programming expertise to make it happen,” says FAN Director Ross Finlay, “and it’s by working together with other investment partners like NBIF, that we’re able to help raise the capital start-ups need to enter emerging markets at the right time.”
Based on a software-as-a-service platform (Saas), the technology can work as a stand-alone or integrated solution, designed to plug in to any already existing patient information management system. To ensure that the system has the best knowledge of a patient’s entire treatment regimen, physicians and specialists with the same patient, when authorized, can work from the same electronic record.
“Ultimately, the most important thing our system does is provide better healthcare by helping to reduce the risks that inevitably rise from using a system that starts with pen and paper,” says MedRunner CEO Todd Murphy, “this equity investment by NBIF and FAN will allow us to get our product up and running for doctors, pharmacists, and most importantly their patients, by early 2011.”
About the investors:
New Brunswick Innovation Foundation
The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation is an independent corporation that makes investments in applied research and new growth-oriented enterprises. Specializing in technology transfer, the Foundation’s Venture Capital Fund and Research Innovation Fund has allowed many of New Brunswick’s most innovative people turn their ideas into commercial successes.
First Angel Network Association
The First Angel Network Association (FAN) is a not-for-profit organization created to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and capital in Atlantic Canada through communication, education and networking. FAN is a member-based organization that offers a forum for Angel investors to increase their exposure to quality, pre-screened investment opportunities and expand their network of like-minded investors. FAN also provides qualified entrepreneurs the opportunity to approach a community of active investors.