Medical devices create massive amounts of data, but it’s only been relatively recently that this information has been effectively harnessed to improve patient outcomes and experiences.
A panel at the MedCity INVEST conference in Chicago on April 23 will convene leaders from medtech companies, health systems and investment firms to share their perspectives on how healthcare stakeholders are adapting to effectively utilize and enable these new data streams.
One of the panel participants will be John Chelico, Vice President and Chief Informatics & Innovation Officer at New York health system Northwell Health. In a phone interview, Chelico said he’s always been driven by the idea of capitalizing on these new data sources to help extend clinicians’ reach.
“Part of it is the understanding that no one person can be in any one place all the time,” Chelico said. “It’s information overload if we have data coming to the doctor every four seconds. So the question becomes how do we develop tools to put this data we have together to ring the bell and highlight what needs further attention and intervention.”
He cautioned that the key is not just the volume of data, but how that information fits into the context of an individual patient’s situation.
Attend MedCity INVEST on April 23-24 to hear from thought leaders like Northwell Health’s John Chelico, Cala Health’s Kate Rosenbluth and ResMed’s Bobby Ghoshal. Use promo code MCN50 to save $50! Register now.
Based on this thesis, Northwell Health has built an early warning scoring system Chelico said has helped improve clinical outcomes by lowering mortality rates and helping in the early identification of sepsis.
One major step in development of Northwell’s data infrastructure was the creation of a health information exchange that ingests and houses data from disparate software systems across the organization’s 23 hospitals and more than 800 practice locations.
This is where medical device companies have been adapting by making it easier for their products to plug into their customer’s data streams. That shift is also a business imperative, as device makers look for more consistent revenue models that go beyond a single sale and providers look for a greater ROI on their purchases.
“There’s definitely been more focus on open-ended APIs to bring these things together. Every device company I talk to has been working on accomplishing that because they know if they don’t, then they’re sunk,” Chelico said.
Cala Health CEO Kate Rosenbluth said outside of the “table stakes” of using data to incrementally improve the medtech startup’s products, the company is able to direct its data infrastructure to create precision therapies for specific patients.
The company received FDA clearance last year for its wearable device which helps treat the condition of essential tremors through electric neurostimulation.
“Our therapies are individualized, so we actually measure the characteristics of a patient tremor using the accelerometers on the device, which then automatically tunes its level of electrostimulation to that specific tremor,” Rosenbluth said.
Additionally, Cala is taking advantage of its data resources in a unique way to improve the patient experience by building out distribution capabilities. As a vertically integrated service provider, the company can efficiently translate a prescription order into a product drop shipped directly on a patient’s doorstep, mirroring the ease of use of e-commerce companies like Amazon.
Ultimately through its collection of population level data on essential tremor patients, Rosenbluth said the idea is to give clinicians and researchers a wider perspective on the condition, its comorbidities and how best to guide treatment.
“This is all part of the larger evolution from therapies that treat symptoms into fully fledged disease management solutions,” Rosenbluth said. “We’re also partnering with the leading academic medical centers because we feel the company has a responsibility to contribute back to that body of knowledge and use those combined resources to deliver the most therapeutic offering we can to patients.”
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