AWS Startups Healthcare Response Part 2: Remote Monitoring for Hands-On Care
Nothing accelerates innovation more than challenges that need to be overcome. Over the last few months, the global healthcare industry has stepped up to the occasion: health systems have been deploying innovative solutions to keep their staff safe and improve patient outcomes, startups have been launching or scaling life-saving technologies, and regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been issuing emergency use authorizations to permit adoption of these technology solutions.
Responding to requests from multiple healthcare organizations around the world, we introduced a series of webinars featuring vetted enterprise-ready startup solutions built on top of AWS and focused on helping healthcare providers navigate the challenges surrounding COVID-19. Below is the second in a series of blog posts that shines a spotlight on featured innovative startups. Dive deeper into their solutions, catch up on their presentations via webinar recordings, and get in touch if your healthcare organization needs help. Bringing awareness to these ready-to-deploy technologies may help arm the global healthcare community with the right tools to withstand the challenge.
By Jelena Joffe, AWS Connections, Global Startup Business Development & Corporate Innovation
Imagine being able to monitor your patients’ vital signs, including blood pressure, at home in a non-invasive way and take action before they deteriorate. Or walking up to a hospital check-in desk and having your temperature scanned from a distance by a tablet. Wouldn’t that help curb the spread of the disease, minimize staff exposure, and improve patient outcomes?
Bio-Beat: Developed an all-in-one medical-grade monitoring solution that captures cardio-pulmonary vital signs and leverages a patented photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor technology. Healthcare providers can now monitor all their patients at once in an intuitive platform, both in a hospital and at home via a disposable patch (administered by the care provider and lasting for 5 days) or a watch (more suited for long-term or chronic care). This not only helps to decrease staff exposure but also allows to detect early signs of patient deterioration and send timely alerts.
“Seeing historic trends sometimes is more important than the real-time monitoring,” says Romi Littman, Business Development Director at Bio-Beat.
The only FDA-cleared monitoring system in the world for cuffless non-invasive blood pressure, pulse, and blood oxygen saturation monitoring, Bio-Beat has been scaling rapidly and is already deployed globally. It only takes several days to be operational, and the system comes fully integrated with local electronic medical records (EMRs). The team is awaiting FDA approval to monitor other vital signs, including respiratory rate, cardiac output, stroke volume, single-lead ECG (electrocardiogram), and others.
Use case: all-in-one vitals monitoring device (within and beyond hospital walls).
Care.ai: While the care.ai team is known for its AI-enabled autonomous monitoring platform and Self-Aware Rooms™ (ensuring hand-wash compliance, fall prevention, infection control, etc.), during the pandemic, they were able to quickly refactor their platform to launch a contactless temperature scanning solution, already deployed within 8 out of top 10 health systems across the U. S., including Kaiser Permanente and Rush University.
The solution comes with a plug-and-play temperature scanning device and a fully integrated care.ai platform that is also configurable to healthcare provider’s workflow needs and taxonomy. The screen has visual and voice-enabled commands guiding the person to align correctly and – even if the person is wearing a mask – within 1-2 seconds provides an accurate temperature read. Real time screens and alerts then go to the designated healthcare teams for visibility and appropriate action. Instead of manually scanning all individuals, providers are now getting accurate temperature reads without touching the patients or visitors and minimizing exposure for their staff.
“Algorithms have to balance ease of use with accuracy of the read,” notes Drew Vaughn, General Manager at Care.ai.
The implementation takes only 30 min and care.ai’s customers report that it takes them longer to screw the device to the stand than for the solution to turn on and be ready to go. Team believes it is their deep healthcare roots that allowed for building a simple yet secure and easy-to-deploy solution so quickly.
In the post-COVID world, we can imagine this technology becoming a common part of the check-in process within emergency rooms or walk-in clinics. In the near future, it could also be instrumental in helping organizational facilities across multiple industries safely return to work.
Use case: touchless temperature scanning device and autonomous monitoring platform.
Current Health: Guided by its mission to detect deterioration sooner so care givers can intervene earlier, Current Health launched in-patient and out-patient remote monitoring solutions that received FDA approval in April 2019. A year later, Current Health formed a partnership with Mayo Clinic to fight the pandemic – their devices will monitor vital signs of clinicians and patients (both confirmed COVID and non-COVID patients) to detect if there are biomarkers to identify the disease and predict its severity (Mayo Clinic is also an investor in Current Health).
Current Health’s universal platform allows it to monitor, manage and engage patients wherever they are through continuous vital sign monitoring, smart alerts, a 24/7 nursing triage team and built-in telemedicine capability. Their easy to slip on single sensor device continuously and passively monitors respiration rate, oxygen saturation, pulse rate, body temperature, and mobility, and shows 90% adherence by patients. Current Health believes a transition to a smaller device launched mid-2020 will help drive even higher adherence and focus on chronic conditions.
The platform currently integrates with an ecosystem of peripheral devices to get deeper insights and provide care teams with a full picture of the patient so they can act on it. Customizable dashboards and alerts in the clinician portal available in a web or app format allow care teams to stratify their patients based on needs and virtually triage their workflows for the day.
To close the loop, the platform also brings the care team and a patient together for a virtual visit using a tablet that comes as part of a patient kit. The tablet serves as a convenient means to engage patients in daily customized questionnaires (think of applications for virtual clinical trials – something Current Health already started), two-way chat communication (think of various chat-bot reminders), educational materials, and telemedicine.
“Remote monitoring is just part of the equation,” according to Sean Ginney, VP Strategic Partnerships at Current Health.
Knowing that for many of their healthcare customers, remote monitoring is just part of the equation, Current Health offers end-to-end support to operationalize remote monitoring programs. Team has developed over 100 disease-specific flexible clinical pathways, making it easy to identify, onboard and monitor patients across various clinical areas (it takes only 5 minutes to set up a patient). Current Health supports patient enrollment on the front end, manages inventory and logistics of patient kits on the back-end, and delivers intelligent remote monitoring services. This allows healthcare organizations and pharma companies to deliver a positive patient experience at scale.
Use case: end-to-end remote monitoring program (incl. vitals monitoring device, telehealth, alerts and insights, and an ecosystem of connected devices).
Let our AWS Healthcare Startup team know if we can help your organization in any way at email@example.com.
 PPG is a non-invasive technology that uses a light source and a photodetector at the surface of skin to measure the volumetric variations of blood circulation – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6426305/