Timothy Aungst, PharmD
Timothy Dy Aungst, PharmD, is an associate professor of pharmacy practice at MCPHS University. He graduated from Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at St. Luke's University Hospital, and then a Clinical Geriatric Fellowship at MCPHS University. He is passionate about the rise of technology in health care and its application to pharmacy. He has published primarily on the role of mobile technology and mHealth, and made multiple national and international presentations on those topics. He blogs at TheDigitalApothecary.com, is a Co-Host of FurtureDose.tech a podcast part of the Pharmacy Podcast Network, and you can find him on Twitter @TDAungst.
Then, I came across a new digital health product that seemed geared towards women like my wife, someone that didn't have the time to sit down for 20-30 minutes and pump. This is a cordless and rather seamless design (compared to other breast pumps currently on the market) that could slide into a bra, be out of sight, and, amazingly, silent. This product, called Willow, is a new breast pump currently in beta.1 It hopes to be released this year.
The pump will sell for $480, which is a significant cost compared to other pumps, and milk is collected in disposable 4 oz bags (24-pack for $11.99). I would say that this is a potentially expensive system, considering that I doubt it will be covered by most insurances, and the lack of reusable bags can increase the costs. But for pharmacists, this system could be all the difference in having a comfortable set-up.
I think Willow has a great market, especially women in the healthcare field, such as nurses, doctors, PAs, etc. Now, I am not saying that having a system like Willow necessarily means that women have to work and pump at the same time, but for situations where it could be beneficial, this platform has a lot of promise. It's my hope that I can have my wife write about her experience in the next few years, but if you happen to end up with a Willow, contact me and we can write about your experience.