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Starting a Company at 71: Eugene Spiritus, OMyMeds

DEMO Fall 2011 : September 12 - 14, 2011

Meet Eugene Spiritus.

He's 71, he's on Twitter, and he's the cofounder of a brand new startup called OMyMeds. What does OMyMeds do? I'll let VentureBeat explain...

Based in Orange County, Calif., OMyMeds started out when Spiritus became frustrated with the medication management of his ailing mother. She had heart failure, diabetes and emphysema and took 12 different medications daily, with three to four additional drugs on an as-needed basis. He displayed a medicine cabinet on stage, full of her medications with little sticky notes reminder her when to take them. "She tried to manage this complicated regimen with sticky notes, hand written lists and pillboxes," says Spiritus. "She had a vague idea about each medication, but invariably she'd forget to take her meds or, worse, she would take the same medicine twice. She had many physicians, including a cardiologist, pulmonologist, endocrinologist and internist. At various times, my sisters, wife and several home health aides were also involved with her care. Sadly, no one was ever 100% sure exactly what she was taking."

Now, OMyMeds is trying to solve that problem by collecting insurance and pharmaceutical companies' drug lists into one calendar-style view - and a simple info card - that patients and caregivers can refer to. On stage at DEMO, a startup conference, Spiritus pitched it, showing off his obvious experience in the industry - and took home DEMOgod honors, an award that honors "an unique ability to deliver a great product and position it in the market."

Afterward, his daughter asked - "Dad, why'd you tell them you were 71?!? No one will want to invest!"

"Times have changed, honey," Spiritus said. "Times have changed!"

Photo: Eugene Spiritus and Onne Ganel, cofounders of OMyMeds. Photo via the DEMO conference. 

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