Novartis And Popit Enter Into International Collaboration Agreement

The Finnish startup’s platform can improve medication adherence and help engage patients by using innovative technology


The pharmaceutical company Novartis and Finnish MedTech startup Popit have entered into an international collaboration agreement. The goal of Popit’s patient support solution to improve patient adherence and engagement. Popit’s mobile app tracks medication use through the innovative Popit Sense device, which easily clips onto a blister sheet of tablets. The startup’s cloud service sends bespoke messages to patients based on their medication habits, and in clinical trial use can collect real-time data.

Novartis, as a global healthcare company, is part of an ecosystem where digitalization is advancing fast. Collaboration with innovative health technology startups such as Popit enables new ways to provide patients with effective care faster, and more efficiently for the society. At the same time, innovation in the health sector supports economic growth and creates more exports and jobs in Finland and Europe.

Novartis has also entered into a collaboration with another Finnish startup, Precordior, to further develop heart disease detection using smart phones.

Medications are often missed

Only 30-50% of medication for chronic conditions are taken as prescribed. (1, 2)

“Medication nonadherence is a major issue in treatment of patients. Better treatment outcomes could be achieved, if medication was taken as prescribed. As a pharmaceutical company, it is very important for Novartis that the patients benefit from their medication in the best possible way, and Popit’s solution can potentially help with this,” says Antti Viitanen, Managing Director of Novartis Finland Oy. The first pilots on Popit’s technology are starting during 2019 with a focus on neurology in a number of European countries.

When the device manufactured by Popit is attached onto a medication blister, its sensors automatically detect when a tablet is taken. This information is sent to the app and to the cloud. If the tablet is not taken on time, the app reminds the patient. The intelligent cloud service automatically sends support messages based on medication consumption.

”The strength of our solution is its applicability for all kinds of medication blisters, which are the dominant form of packaging for solid drugs globally. At the same time, it does not require any changes to the packaging. It is unlike other products on the market,” says Teemu Piirainen, Popit’s CEO.

”The smart reminders and support messages have been designed to help and engage the patient during the treatment. Additionally, the technology makes it possible to gather real-time data for example in clinical trials. We are making medication connected and basically extending the Internet of Things to pills,” continues Piirainen.

Data and digital technologies can advance new treatment development

”It is in everyone’s best interest that the right patient is given the right treatment at the right time. This requires fast identification of symptoms, but also patient’s commitment to treatment,” says Antti Viitanen.

New technologies and digitalization make the development of new operational models possible. Currently, more health data is being collected and used than ever before. Utilizing it has become part of disease prevention, but it may help providing more targeted treatment to the right patients faster.

”The collaboration between Novartis and Popit is an example of how a small company from the superb Finnish startup scene can scale up to a global level with the help of an international partner. Also, the Finnish health sector growth strategy has been key in creating an ecosystem where innovations like this can thrive and increase wellbeing,” says Antti Viitanen. ”The global collaboration between Novartis and Popit stems from last year, when a group of Finnish startups together with Business Finland and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health visited Novartis’ head office in Basel.”

About Popit

Popit is a pioneer in improving patient adherence through smart consumer devices. The Company is dedicated to improving adherence by digitizing medicine, a major opportunity that offers benefits for patients, healthcare payors and pharmaceutical companies. Popit works with the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, like Novartis and Pfizer. Find out more at

About Novartis

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at

Media contact: Timo Heikkilä, Co-founder