First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Chris McCann: I’m pleased to say we’re all doing okay. This year has been tough for so many, but I’m incredibly thankful that those close to me have remained healthy.
Tell us about yourself, your career, how you founded Current Health.
Chris McCann: My journey into this field began when I was a medical student. While I was studying in hospital settings, I realized how inefficient many of the practices were. One thing that stood out to me was how often we had to collect patients’ vital sign data. We would do this every few hours every single day. I realized if we could automatically capture this information and analyze it with AI, we could significantly enhance hospital operations and improve patient care at scale.
Around this same time, my grandmother passed away after recurrent illness and chronic decline. When she was ill, she frequently visited the hospital to have her vital signs checked, which is a dangerous place for a sick person to be.
Her experience – and my observation of how vital sign checks could be automated with technology – led me to start Current Health, a company focused on remote patient monitoring and propelling home-based care models. Our mission is to ensure every human has the ability to lead a healthier and longer life by predicting disease onset and delivering treatment earlier.
How does Current Health innovate?
Chris McCann: The reality is that remote patient monitoring has been around for decades. However, the historic players in the space were large device companies who have failed to take advantage of advances in IoT, AI, and cloud computing.
Current Health has created a platform that supports brand new care models that bring healthcare into the home in entirely new ways. We’ve done this not only by significantly improving the monitoring technology but also by integrating novel patient data into customer workflows.
For example, in 2020, we released the next generation of our wearable device. The device is about the size of a Double Stuf Oreo and captures a patient’s continuous vital sign data, including respiration rate, oxygen saturation, mobility, pulse rate, and body temperature. The fact that we can continuously and passively capture this data with the same accuracy as an ICU-monitor means we can monitor higher-risk patients at home. To make this data actionable and reduce the alarming burden on clinical staff, we display it within our web-based dashboard that leverages clinical algorithms to identify which patients are showing early signs of health deterioration. We stratify all patients within a single dashboard based on their risk to enable providers to prioritize care and intervene with the right patient at the right time.
Similarly, we’re working with research institutions and pharmaceutical companies to enable decentralized clinical trials that use remote monitoring to help determine the efficacy of drug therapies while simultaneously ensuring the safety and well-being of clinical trial participants.
However, even with the advances in technology, remote monitoring needs to be incredibly simple for a patient to use. For this reason, our monitoring kit comes pre-configured with everything a patient needs to get started, including connectivity through our Home Hub. Since many of our target patients also lack a smart device, we provide a tablet that walks them through the setup process and allows them to communicate with their care team as needed.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Chris McCann: Since the beginning of the pandemic, Current Health has had the opportunity to play a major role in COVID-19 response for both healthcare delivery and clinical research. I am very proud of how our team has responded to support these groups, all while doubling in size and operating almost entirely remotely.
This year, we’ve more than doubled our health system and pharma customers, many of whom are looking to remote monitoring to help with COVID-19. On the health system side, our platform has been used to manage COVID-19 patients at home, allowing them to free up capacity and prevent spread among patients and staff. Our platform allows care teams to keep a close eye on patients as they recover from COVID-19 and identify early signs of deterioration.
We are similarly supporting pharma companies to deliver decentralized clinical trials that leverage remote monitoring to ensure participant safety and gain deeper insight into drug efficacy. Current Health has also partnered with the Mayo Clinic and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support clinical trials to manage and treat COVID-19 patients.
How do you project yourself and Current Health in the future?
Chris McCann: We’ve developed a foundation for healthcare organizations to deliver care outside the hospital’s four walls, allowing them to be more proactive and produce better outcomes. We’ll continue to build out our technology to support this proactive approach, leveraging our dataset of over one million hours of human-labeled data to be able to predict the onset of disease and deliver the earlier intervention.
Do you have any final thoughts?
Chris McCann: The acceleration to remote patient monitoring has moved even faster in the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. What we’ve seen are new care delivery models and the value of home-based care. We expect this trend to continue and remain focused on arming providers with the tools they need to deliver superior care at scale.
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