Predictive analytics specialist PhysIQ has launched a platform designed to detect subtle changes in vital signs and other health indicators helpful to both clinicians in managing patients who are suffering from chronic illness, as well as consumers interested in tracking their own health and fitness levels.
The platform constructs a personalized baseline norm for each person monitored, rather than offering a comparison to population-based statistics, and can be embedded into patient-monitoring devices or fitness products such as smartbands.
"We know more about the cars we drive than our own physiology, and it’s the only body we will ever have. I think the developing 'quantified self' movement is an excellent precursor to how patient-centric health will become," Gary Conkright, CEO of PhysIQ, told eWEEK. "Whether it is the performance athlete who wants to have a quantified measurement of the improvement or degradation resulting from their physical training, or the concerned son or daughter who wants to monitor an aging or sick parent thousands of miles away, technology is going to allow us to live healthier and happier lives."
The technology platform PhysIQ has developed is agnostic to the actual data type or the device used to monitor an individual called Personalized Physiology Analytics (PAA), Conkright explained.
The PhysIQ platform analyzes numerous data streams originating from a sensor or wearable device to gather key data about a patient's physiology, including heart rate, blood pressure, oxygenation of the blood, respiration rate and many other biological signals.
It then converts this physiological data into meaningful information that can be used by clinicians or consumers to make informed decisions and change behavior.
"By being able to create a unique baseline for each person being monitored, we can detect very subtle changes in that individual’s physiological behavior," Conkright said. "These changes could manifest because of an exacerbation of a chronic illness, or the improvement in a performance athlete resulting from training for a marathon. The important value here is being able to detect a change in the 'human machine' which can only be accomplished when you compare 'you to you' instead of you to the broader population."
Medicare has published reports that show $12 billion can be saved annually for their insured population by eliminating avoidable re-admissions for congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients within 30 days--but that’s only the tip of the iceberg, Conkright argued.
"To bend the cost curve of health care delivery, we must find a better way of delivering higher quality care at lower cost," he said. "Since more than 80 percent of all U.S. health care cost is driven by chronic illness, a big part of which is hospitalizations, we need to do everything possible to keep people out of the hospital. So remotely monitoring chronically ill patients in their home, to prevent avoidable hospitalizations, is a well-developed business case."
In his own opinion, Conkright feels that the same technologies developed for the health care patient will soon be adopted by the informed consumer--technologies that companies like Nike, Samsung and others have started offering through wearable technology and health and fitness devices.
"We’re definitely seeing a growing trend in more consumers interested in taking better care of themselves or a loved one, which is driving the unregulated side of the business," he said. "When you can 'see' the impact having a whole bag of potato chips will have on your well-being, verses another hour at the gym, there is a much better chance of incenting or modifying good behavior."