Healthcare’s Most Innovative Companies of 2020: EarlySense

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EarlySense works to improve patient safety with contact-free, continuous patient monitoring. Its products are designed to give clinicians constant, contact-free access to a patient’s level of motion, heart rate and respiratory rate (the single highest indicator of adverse events).

Founded in 2004, EarlySense is dedicated to empowering facilities to improve quality of care.

Its real-time delivery of actionable data, combined with a suite of patient data management tools designed to empower clinical staff to identify potentially critical situations early, before they become high risk.

Its U.S.-based headquarters is in Woburn, Mass.

What is the single-most innovative technology you are currently delivering to health systems or medical groups?

EarlySense is on a global mission to raise the standard of patient care throughout the healthcare continuum via contact-free continuous monitoring (CFCM) and AI-powered predictive analytics. The EarlySense sensor, placed under the patient’s mattress, tracks multiple data points every second (more than 100 data points per minute), including respiratory rate, heart rate and movement without ever touching the patient.

How is your product or service innovating the work being done in these organization to provide care or make systems run smoother?

EarlySense’s patient monitoring system is used in health facilities around the world to assist with early detection of patient deterioration and empower health teams to help prevent adverse events. The integrated sensor utilizes artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to notify care teams of clinical changes which may be detected hours before an event becomes critical.

As a result, health teams can take action to help reduce adverse events, including code blue events which are a result of cardiac or respiratory arrest, preventable ICU transfers, patient falls, pressure ulcers, and hospital readmissions.

What is the primary need fulfilled by the product or service?

Currently, the vast majority of global health teams use outdated, inefficient “spot checking” methods to monitor general care patients. This means that hospital, post-acute care and nursing home staff are checking patients’ vital signs once every six to eight hours. The most notable pitfall of spot checking is the “data desert” it creates for health staff, where vital sign readings and patient-specific issues are only monitored and addressed a few times a day. Additionally, these readings can vary depending on measurement tools/equipment and methods, and even staff mood, training, skills, and individual approach towards patient conditions.

With EarlySense, healthcare providers can capture patient data continuously, as opposed to relying on inefficient “spot checking” methods alone, and be provided with a full picture of patient health to identify key trends in patient vitals and provide proactive care.

What is the ROI of said product or service? Provide real examples of verifiable ROI of the product or service when used in or by a health system or medial group.

To date, implementations of EarlySense’s sensors in various care facilities have been proven to:

Additionally, according to a Frost and Sullivan white paper, the use of AI-powered disruptive technologies like contact-free continuous monitoring can hypothetically save more than $1.5 million, generate more than $2 million in additional revenue and add approximately $2 million to its bottom line annually in an “average” U.S. hospital with 200 beds.

EarlySense estimates that each CFCM enabled patient bed can save hospitals approximately $10,000 per year per bed, and that current installed EarlySense sensors can potentially save global medical institutions more than $3 billion by 2024.

Provide specific examples of implementation and outcomes use cases.

The Hebrew Home of Riverdale by RiverSpring Health recently demonstrated that in a case study that skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) incorporating contact-free, continuous patient monitoring (CFCM) can potentially aid in the early identification of acute changes in patient deterioration and rapid life-threatening treatment interventions.

In the case study, an 89-year-old male patient was admitted to a SNF for post-acute care following a hospital stay for pneumonia. During his recovery, the CFCM system alerted staff regarding an abnormal respiratory rate. Staff found the patient unresponsive and immediately initiated intravenous fluid therapy. The patient remained hypotensive and was emergently transferred to a hospital where he was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary emboli. The patient successfully underwent pulmonary arteriography and catheter-directed thrombolysis, and afterwards was admitted to an intensive care unit for monitoring. Once medically stable, the patient returned to the SNF, where he completed his course of skilled rehabilitation and was afterwards successfully discharged home.

More recently, EarlySense’s CFCM system was installed at Sheba Medical Center, one of the best hospitals in the world according to Newsweek, to care for patients in their COVID-19 isolation wards. The sensor transmitted real-time data for the early detection of clinical changes to displays outside of the patient’s room, limiting the need for staff to gown up and enter isolation areas. There were no leads or other wearable devices to adjust or to touch the patient’s body.

The initial analytics show that the EarlySense platform was able to positively predict respiratory failure in 90% of coronavirus patients and also showed a 77% Positive Predictive Value in predicting patient deterioration.

Additional relevant case studies illustrating the gamut of scenarios where EarlySense’s CFCM system has proven to be effective can be found here:

How has the innovation advanced the field of healthcare or the practice of care?

CFCM does away with antiquated “spot checking” methods to monitor general care patients patient vitals, in turn offering tremendous value to health practitioners with accurate, continuous patient data to provide them with a full picture of patient health. This constant flow of accurate data keeps practitioners informed, allowing them to identify key trends in patient vitals and provide proactive care.

Individual patient baselines and trends may be early indications of larger issues starting to develop including sepsis, cardiac arrest, pressure ulcers and more. By catching and alerting health staff to these trends early on, dangerous adverse health events can be successfully prevented and addressed.

How is the innovation changing lives — specifically?

EarlySense’s CFCM system is not only helping health staff provide better care for patients, it’s also allowing providers to improve existing workflows and increase efficiency.

Unfortunately, many hospitals, long-term care and post-acute care facilities struggle with insufficient nurse staffing levels, with some studies linking this to additional hospitalizations. Tools like CFCM are helping staff prioritize and divide their time effectively between patients. With real-time data and alerts, nursing teams are equipped to take swift action when it is needed most. At the same time, new labor efficiencies created also impact the facility’s profit margin.

Additionally, the use of CFCM reduces costs by extending the capabilities of staff and decreasing patient readmissions by detecting deterioration in patient status and creating opportunities for intervention. Reducing unnecessary readmissions is crucial for healthcare providers with many making referral decisions based on rates of readmission. It also expands the range of patient acuity that a post-acute facility can treat, thereby enabling opportunities for higher payments.

What is the company’s go-forward strategy? What’s next, which problem is the organization working on now, and in the future?

EarlySense is committed to establishing CFCM as the global standard of care across the healthcare continuum. To date, EarlySense’s CFCM predictive health analytics platform is being used to empower health practitioners in more than 150 global hospitals and post-acute care facilities and is installed in more than 40,000 patient beds.

Currently, EarlySense’s actionable health insights are proving especially useful for healthcare facilities during the current coronavirus crisis, as the EarlySense sensor transmits real-time patient data for the early detection of clinical changes to a display outside of the patient’s room, limiting the need for staff to gown up and enter isolation areas. As a contact-free monitoring solution, there are no leads or other wearable devices to adjust or to touch the patient’s body.

Additionally, EarlySense’s technology will be available later this year in a compact cloud-based module that will allow caregivers, telehealth companies and a variety of product developers to integrate and expand their remote patient monitoring capabilities.

What are the most significant lessons learned by delivering the innovation, product or service to health systems or medical group?

The healthcare community in its entirety has always strived to deliver optimal care and treatment to patients. Through years of providing health insights, EarlySense has learned that accurate early warning analytics give healthcare practitioners the advantage in delivering care to patients. Identifying incongruities and patient deterioration early on enables health teams to take action and switch from a reactive approach to an educated, preemptive one.

Additionally, with this capability and mindset, health providers are able to alleviate pressure on staff and reduce their workload. A more rested and focused staff is then able to apply renewed energies towards their care practices and patients, resulting in improved patient care and outcomes.

Provide actual testimony from a user regarding the product and how it has solved a problem, created efficiency or improved processes at the point of care.

Melissa Powell, COO of leading New York-based skilled nursing network The Allure Group, sums up the value of EarlySense’s platform as follows, “Through improved patient monitoring and data collection, our medical staff will be alerted before serious problems occur and can respond to patients’ specific needs swiftly and effectively. This is another step forward in our evolution of advanced care.”

Kate Shepard, executive director and administrator of The Reformed Church Home, a New Jersey-based healthcare facility, said that, “With this technology, we’ve seen a significant reduction in patient falls, especially in those first 24 hours, as well as a marked increase in documented cases where early prevention helped prevent readmission.”

“No patient should deteriorate without prior warning in the hospital environment. Continuous vital signs measurement should be the standard of clinical practice in the United States,” said Dr. Frank Overdyk, a Charleston, SC-based anesthesiologist and expert on respiratory compromise.

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