Spotlight on Innovation: Perx

Key points at a glance:

  • Scott Taylor and Hugo Rouke left their full time jobs to join the startup world
  • Their vision is to improve medication compliance of Australians with chronic health conditions to improve their quality of life and lessen the impact on the Australian healthcare network
  • They're doing this through app Perx and have been able to inject cash back into their business by claiming the R&D Tax Incentive with Nifty

Identifying the problem: prescription medicine compliance

Scott Taylor and Hugo Rourke have a shared vision: this is improve medication compliance of Australians with chronic health conditions to improve their quality of life and lessen the impact on the Australian healthcare network.

Statistics tell the story which supports their venture:

  • 1 in 3 adult Australians suffer from a chronic issue such diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease, mental health and sadly much more

  • Of this population, only 50% are taking their medication as prescribed by their doctor

Creating a solution: Perx

It was just over 18 months ago that the idea for Perx was born. Co-founders Scott and Hugo witnessed friends and family members struggle to maintain healthy habits and keep up with medication prescribed to them as a result of chronic health issues.

Perx is a smartphone app that recognises and rewards users as they manage their medication and form healthy habits.

Scott explains “Perx helps turns the negative experience and boring chore of managing prescription medication into a more engaging and fun activity”.

Once set up, users are notified of the time to take their medication and are able to log a record of compliance with prescriptions. The app has a fun and engaging twist to incentivise compliance through gamification. When a user takes the required medication at the required time, they have the opportunity to partake in a fun game to win a prize - such as movie tickets or shopping vouchers.

So the story goes

Both with commercial backgrounds, Scott and Hugo knew a thing or two about the need for research so they dove into discovery mode, having hundreds of discussions with various health professionals before leaving their full time roles to pursue the startup life full time.

Having experienced the tactics of many large companies who engage and retain their customers well so they brought lead developer, Matt Laird, onto the team to develop the smartphone app and fun technology. With a successful track record in mobile game development, Matt supports the team to continue to build out the engaging side of the app.

Researching and innovating

Creating such an app has so far and will continue to involve a great deal of research and hypothesis setting and testing. Early on, the idea was tested extensively, including a deep dive into the health sector, particularly around chronic diseases. Now, with an app in market, they’re able to test the hypotheses: ‘can we make sticking to a medication prescription plan fun and engaging to bring about better compliance and ultimately better health’.

Scott had heard about the R&D Tax Incentive as a way for an early stage startup to recoup some of the associated cost, funded themselves, to reinvest back into the business.

Finding an affordable way to claim R&D Tax Incentive

From day one the team have immersed themselves in the startup ecosystem and being close to other tech and software startups, they learned of the new requirements for R&D and innovation in the software sector.

This was not a deterrent, but rather encouragement that they needed a trusted and reliable but affordable way to make an R&D claim.

“Early stage, self funded startups, tend to be willing to spend a bit of time pulling a claim together to save cash, Nifty was an easy choice.” says Scott.

Nifty Grants

Nifty is platform which allows a startup or SME to complete an R&D claim online, in their own time. Through the online platform, costs are kept to a minimum (no in person meetings, charged at an hourly rate) however PwC specialists are able to review each submission for compliance., This model allows companies with little or no budget for R&D claim submissions the ability to access the expertise of one of the world’s largest professional service firms, PwC. Every claim submitted to Nifty is reviewed by an R&D specialist and Partner before being lodged to AusIndustry.

If you’re conducting R&D in software, check your eligibility to claim the R&D Tax Incentive with Nifty online for free here.

Learn more about how Perx can support someone you might know with a chronic disease here.