Concluding our series on the year’s most popular stories, these features focused on new and emerging technologies in healthcare resonated with readers.
Over the past year, Chief Healthcare Executive has looked at some of the tools and technologies that are changing the delivery of care.
As we round out our review of the year’s most notable stories, here’s a roundup of the year’s most popular stories involving product solutions.
1. Dascena aims to stand out in artificial intelligence
A start-up based in San Francisco, Dascena aims to give providers artificial intelligence tools to detect health issues much earlier and allow providers to act sooner.
The company utilizes machine learning algorithms, programs which evaluate enormous amounts of data, to predict healthcare complications.
Dascena has developed a machine learning algorithm for the early detection of sepsis, the body’s extreme reaction to an infection. About 270,000 people die of sepsis in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Food and Drug Administration has awarded “breakthrough device designation” for two of Dascena’s products that have shown success in early detection of early kidney injury and for gastrointestinal bleeding.
Andrew Pucher, the CEO of Dascena, told with Chief Healthcare Executive that it’s an exciting time for the company.
“We are at the forefront, us and a small number of other companies, of this emerging space, the application of machine learning algorithms for different diseases in the in-patient setting,” he said.
2. Amwell’s Anthony Sossong talks about telemedicine, kids and mental health
Hospitals and health systems have reported an alarming increase in the number of children and teens in emergency departments due to mental health issues.
The mental health crisis in America’s youth is gaining growing attention, and health groups have asked President Biden to declare a national emergency. With children facing tremendous behavioral health struggles, telemedicine offers a chance to provide care to kids who sorely need it, said Anthony Sossong, the chief medical director in behavioral health for Amwell, the telehealth company based in Boston.
Amwell has partnered with 2,000 hospitals and health systems. The company recently announced a partnership with CVS to operate the drugstore chain’s virtual care services.
Sossong talked with Chief Healthcare Executive about children and mental health, the expansion of telehealth and the need to integrate behavioral health with primary care.
“Children’s behavioral health needs are not just staggering but they are growing,” Sossong says. “Technology can play a big role in helping with that.”
3. LeanTaaS aims to bring smarter scheduling solutions to healthcare
LeanTaaS is using its data science and software scheduling solutions to help hospitals utilize more of their capacity. With its technology, LeanTaaS is helping hospitals schedule more surgeries. LeanTaaS has contracts with hundreds of hospitals.
Healthcare systems are still struggling to find ways to serve more patients and unlock their full capacity, said Mohan Giridharadas, founder and CEO of LeanTaaS.
“Unlocking capacity is a deceptively hard problem,” he said in a roundtable. It involves understanding the dynamics of supply and demand, which can change every day.
The company’s iQueue software spots trends in the types of surgeries and how long different surgeons take on certain procedures, said Sanjeev Agrawal, president and chief operating officer of LeanTaaS.
“We predict more effectively the length of case, type of surgeon, to accommodate more procedures in the same 8-hour periods,” he said. “It helps you look forward.”
4. New robotic surgical device now being used in hospitals
Memic Innovative Surgery said in January its new robotic surgical system for gynecological procedures is now in use at a few top hospitals. Memic, based in Israel, focuses on robotic surgical technology.
Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized marketing of Memic’s Hominis Surgical System. The FDA said it is the first robotically-assisted surgical device approved for a transvaginal hysterectomy.
The Hominis system uses minimally invasive instruments inserted through the vagina. A video camera is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to allow the surgeon to see the instrument. Since the approach requires fewer incisions, there is less scarring, allowing patients to recover more quickly, the company said.
Dvir Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Memic, said the adoption of the Hominis system in the three hospitals is a step toward expansion worldwide.
“We are proud to partner with these leading healthcare providers to empower surgeons with a better user experience and help them better serve the thousands of women who undergo gynecologic surgery each year,” Cohen said in a news release.
5. How Boston Medical Center used remote patient monitoring to track vulnerable patients
Christina Yarrington, director of labor and delivery at Boston Medical Center, has long worried about patients who have just had a baby and had a pregnancy affected by high blood pressure. Within days of giving birth, they can see alarming blood pressure increases that can put them at risk of stroke or a heart attack.
“This has been, for a long time, a population that we have struggled to find the most patient-centered way to maintain communication and care, even after they leave the hospital,” she said.
Yarrington is very encouraged by the results of a remote patient monitoring program that identifies patients at risk. Boston Medical Center tapped Rimidi, an Atlanta-based healthcare technology company offering remote patient monitoring, to track patients who have recently given birth.
Boston Medical Center gave patients cellular-connected blood pressure cuffs to monitor patients and see if some needed intervention. The program proved to be very successful. Virtually all of the patients checked their blood pressure, and they were able to identify some patients that needed treatment before suffering a stroke or heart attack.
Yarrington and Lucienne Ide, Rimidi’s chief executive officer and founder, talked with Chief Healthcare Executive about the program, connecting with a safety net population, and using technology to improve health equity.
“It really is the team that’s behind this and the rapport they have with these patients,” Ide said.