Where it's based: Cambridge, Mass.
When it was founded: 2008
Why it's Fierce: More than 50 percent of the U.S. population is on some type of daily prescription medication, yet studies show that only half of the people who are prescribed medication for a chronic condition continue to take it after a year's time. Vitality's executives hope to improve that situation.
The company's GlowCaps pill bottle cap is outfitted with a wireless chipset allowing the cap to connect to AT&T Mobility's network and send messages alerting patients to take their medication. If the bottle isn't opened at the appointed time, the cap starts blinking to remind owners to take their medication. If that doesn't work, the cap will send a message via AT&T's network to the Vitality system, which can then call or send a text message to patients. The GlowCap also tracks each time the bottle is opened to ensure that prescriptions are refilled before the bottle is empty.
Vitality's reputation is growing. Four of the top five pharmaceutical companies have agreed to distribute their medications for hypertension, transplants and diabetes through GlowCaps. In addition, GlowCaps are being used by Duke and Harvard for clinical trials.
Vitality's executive team consists of several visionaries. CEO David Rose was previously the CEO of Ambient Devices, which outfitted everyday devices such as umbrellas and light bulbs with Internet information. Likewise Vitality President Joshua Wachman was formerly president of WatchPoint Media, which embedded advertising hyperlinks into cable and satellite TV. Nicholas Negroponte, professor of media arts and sciences and chairman emeritus of MIT Media Laboratory, is on the firm's advisory board.
What's next: Look for GlowCaps to increase its distribution channels through drugstore chains, hospitals and insurance companies.