Larry Twersky is CEO of TimerCap. The Rx TimerCap was designed to help with patient medication management to make sure prescription medication is taken as the doctors prescribe. The Rx TimerCap helps alleviate the confusion that comes with medication management and has proven to improve patient medication adherence by more than 33%. In the face of the US healthcare challenges, Larry Twersky immediately recognized the importance of the TimerCap and the broad impact it could have on millions of lives.
Previously Larry served as President of 1-800-DENTIST making it the largest and most successful dental practice marketing program in the nation.
He is a speaker with topics ranging from Sex Sells, Dogs Bark and Babies Cry; Leadership Lessons You Need to Learn; and Video Stores, Book Stores, Don't Let Your Pharmacy be Next!. He is also a five-time marathoner, enthusiastic snowboarder and an avid wine collector who lives in Tarzana, CA, with his wife, Renee while his two daughters, Skyler and Mya make their own positive indelible marks in this world.
I understand that you were instrumental in helping 1-800-DENTIST become the largest and most successful dental practice marketing program in the nation. You also served as Director for 1-800-ATTORNEY. And you were involved with 1-800- SNORING. Is your secret of success placing a 1-800 number in front of an occupation or body sound?
No, that would not be it. I believe in the Duh! Factor. How simple is the product or service to explain and make the name so obvious that you go "Duh! "I should have thought of that!"
- Do something good for society
- Have Fun
- Make money
We wanted to focus on problems that can make the world better and more sustainable.
You're obviously a successful entrepreneur. How did that career come about?
No one would say that I have taken a direct route; it has all been personal passion and satisfying my own family's needs or wanting to help a friend in their businesses. I left Cal State Northridge in 1984 to jump full time into the business of computers, first selling computers, then moving the business into using the computers to sell (CRM) where we dominated and eventually sold that business. Then, while I was sitting at home trying to figure out my next adventure, my wife was giving me a "Honey Do!" list.
Take the kids here, pick up that, ..... I was not built for that speed and went to go help our past customers / friends at Futuredontics, who had a regional license for 1-800-DENTIST and were in a legal battle over the ownership. This was perfect for me and over the next 10 years the team won the ownership, grew the brand into the national prominence and sold it to Bain Capital.
How did the 1-800-SNORING business come about, and how exactly does it treat someone's snoring problem?
We had just started to incubate 1-800-SNORING when were doing the transaction with Bain Capital. I took that as part of that transaction as I was and am very passionate about the topic as my dad was a very bad snorer who came to realize the medical complication between snoring and sleep apnea.
Why do people snore?
There are many reasons. As a person gains weight, sometimes it is in the neck area, making it harder to breath during the day and when muscles relax at night it creates a full obstruction that can cause, contribute or exacerbate: diabetes, coronary issues, weight gain, and death. It can also be caused by muscle relaxants such alcohol, cannabis and opioids as it relaxes the tongue (a muscle) that then blocks the airway.
What is a "sleep study"? Is it necessary? Who should have one?
It is important to know if the snoring is just annoying or if it is Sleep Apnea, a medical issue that should be treated. Apnea is the loss of breath for 10 seconds or longer. Sleep Apnea occurs when someone is sleeping.
Good candidates to develop Sleep Apnea:
• Men and women that have a 17" /16" neck respectively
• People that have a higher than average BMI
• Diabetics who have a higher sugar count in the AM
• Constant snorers
• People who feel they gasp in the middle of the night
Advantages to a sleep study vs. a home test unit?
Both will let people know if it is Apena or just annoying. The benefit of doing it in the comfort of your home environment is appealing to the patients and the lower cost is appealing to the insurance companies.
How do you determine what kind of dental appliance or facemask the snorer needs? And how long do they need to wear it?
Most of this is the doctor's recommendation based on the outcome of the test and then the patients choice of method.
Under the Languages category on your LinkedIn page, you've listed "Sarcasm" and "Irony". Please elaborate. Were those more difficult to learn than, say, French or Spanish?
I was always fascinated with SASL - "Sarcasm as a Second Language" that I would practice every chance I got at school, home, and just about anytime I was talking to anyone in authority. It seemed weird that more people did not appreciate this form of dialect.
You describe yourself as a "serial entrepreneur". Do you prefer doing many different kinds of things for different kinds of businesses as opposed to staying in one business?
I love business that I can contribute my effort, creativity and energy to. If I lose the passion, or feel that I have taken it as far as I could or someone wants to pay me more than I think the business is worth, it is time to sell.
I have managed to kept my wife (27 years) and sell our business.
How do you select a business or product with which you want to become involved?
Our three principals along with am I passionate about the product or service as the pack will only run as fast as the leader.
How did the idea for TimerCap originate?
It was started by a college friend who wanted to manage his father medication better. We initially invested in the business and after some time and a lot more money became the largest shareholder, CEO and invested in the connected product line of the iCap. We are now in all CVS and Rite Aid locations.
What are the advantages of TimerCap's built-in LCD timer?
The automatic timer counts up and is something that everyone can use. The Timer Cap is the being touted as the number one way for opioid tracking and diversion detection in the household.
How does the TimerCap send alerts to one's phone?
This is the iCap- A Bluetooth-enabled PillCap that tracks all openings and closings of the medication. It's even color coded for easy identification.
What is the purpose of TimerCap's automatic stopwatch function?
Counting up does not compete with doctors labeling instructions that could get complicated such as "take every 3 hours but not to exceed 4 in 24 hours." How is a person supposed to program that easily? This also becomes a tool for parents to detect and a deterrent for children to get into prescription medication as they know it leaves evidence of usage. This is also perfect for people taking opioids or cannabis to know when it is safe to operate a motor vehicle or long enough to take another dose.
How are you marketing TimerCap?
While we do have them available directly at TimerCap.com and Amazon.com for the different style pharmacy vials, they can be purchased at all CVS and Rite Aid locations and other pharmacies under their brands. Medication should be managed in the containers they are dispensed in and we focus our efforts to get pharmacies to reevaluate their apothecary sections.
What kind of response is TimerCap getting?
We are in our sixth year of business and the pharmacy industry is very slow to change but we see that the opioid crisis is bringing compliance packaging more to light. I think it will take just a little longer for us to become an overnight success....
Would you ever appear on "Shark Tank" to pitch TimerCap?
We would love to be on Shark Tank! Our new connected line of products is amazing and does need more funding and help getting out the word. We are trying to help change how people take their medication and just like no one knew they needed a squatty Potty prior to being on the show. People who use the TimerCaps never want to give them up after they use them.
How does TimerCap work?
Put the TimerCap on an existing medication bottle and the count up timer starts letting you know seconds, minutes and hours since last opened. With no button to press or alarms to set it, it lets people know the most basic questions when taking a chronic medication -- "Did I, or Didn't I", so they do not under or overdose. The other benefit is that like people who wear an activity tracker start to walk more, when timer caps are on a medication bottle. people start to take their medication more as prescribed 33% better.
People always ask what about an alarm. First, most can't program them and second, after about a few days, we find people's internal clock is the same for the TimerCap as their alarm clock. They wake up a few minutes before it goes off and they also take their medication within minutes of when they should take their dose.
What is MediSafe and how does it relate to TimerCap?
Medisafe is the number one medication adherence and tracking platform in the world. Our partnership of matching our world class iCap with their platform, gives patients, healthcare systems, EHR's tools that they can count on to provide amazing solutions that make a difference in their lives.
What else is left on your bucket list?
Nothing as of yet. I try to solve one problem at a time. Once TimerCap is a success, like other endeavors, the next opportunity will present itself.
Any career advice for budding entrepreneurs?
1) Most people are not risk taker and judge their advice accordingly.
2) First ideas are good but are usually not market-ready and need real customer feedback.
3) Patents are good, executions are better. Just remember the iPhone has similar knockoffs and Apple is huge.
4) Fail fast, fail cheap, then get it right and replicate and scale.
5) Just start. Momentum is a wonderful thing when it is moving in the right direction.
Your desert island choices for:
Movie: Absolute Power (1997) based on David Baldacci Book.
Book: Any Michael Connelly Book
TV show: Dexter
Anyone in history for conversation:
Anyone in history for romance: As I'm happily married, this is like the question "Does this make me look fat?" the answer to both is "NO!"