I t was a Saturday night in December 2012, and Jeffrey Shepard was about to have a hard conversation with his business partner. Shepard and Steve Buck, best friends since the third grade, had spent the last six months building a smartphone app to help seniors stick to their often-complicated medicine regimens. They’d gone through a Cincinnati accelerator (Innov8 for Health’s Health IT Accelerator) and received more than $100,000 in investment. But the app wasn’t working right. The problem: Apps aren’t intuitive for seniors. And during a test that day, Shepard saw firsthand that they couldn’t figure his product out.
“They didn’t get it,” Shepard said. “They couldn’t turn the device on; they couldn’t set the time. We were banging our heads against the wall.”