Verdande Technology Brings Case-Based Reasoning App to Health Care

Verdande Technology is testing its Edge case-based reasoning platform at heart clinics in the Houston area to help doctors sharpen their diagnostics skills using real patient histories.

Verdande Technology, a Norway-based software company for the oil and gas and finance industries, is announcing its launch into the health care industry with a case-based reasoning (CBR) software platform called Edge.

The application uses CBR algorithms to solve problems based on lessons learned from similar situations in the past, Neal Benedict, CEO for health care at Verdande, told eWEEK. A searchable case library provides doctors with real-time access to patient data. Edge has the ability to identify, capture and analyze unstructured data patterns in real time to expand the case library, the company reported.

Verdande announced its push into health care on Feb. 5. Its North American headquarters are in Houston. The Norwegian company has been operating in the North American oil and gas market since 2010, and financial services for that region since 2012.

The intelligence capabilities of Edge will help doctors respond to unexpected occurrences in the operating room, according to Benedict. Predictive analytics software that doctors use is limiting and leaves them with "what-if" scenarios, he said. Edge can continuously analyze real-time data streams to alert physicians of problems before they occur.

"In the event that something goes wrong, it provides the physician with the best course of action to ensure a positive outcome," said Benedict.

"When a physician only has moments to act in the best interest of the patient, CBR is there with a definitive action based on what worked during similar cases in the past," Lars Elias Olrik, group CEO, Verdande Technology, said in a statement. "And the most critical part is that it does it in real time."

Since early 2012, Verdande has been working with heart clinics in the Houston area to test the Edge platform and CBR for the medical field, said Benedict.

"We've been working with the heart clinics to be able to understand patient outcomes and to try to be able to improve the patient outcomes around heart surgeries," he said.

The software aids doctors that follow patients from pre-surgery through post-operation and into intensive care, he said.

"There are some fairly good indicators in these procedures that help us understand what these outcomes may end up looking like based on a risk assessment that's done prior to the actual operation," said Benedict.

This risk assessment performed before an operation becomes part of the CBR data.

"We're able to give insight into actual activity that could be improving or deteriorating the outcomes of the particular patient through their stay in the hospital and all the various phases that they'll be in during that procedure, so that's one of the key areas we've been focused on and how we can bring value to the health care industry," said Benedict.

Case studies in the form of patient histories are critical for decision making in health care, Frode Sørmo, chief technology officer of Verdande, told eWEEK. "And that's the core of the Edge platform."

Although Edge uses real-time patient data, it doesn't connect to electronic health records (EHRs), according to Sørmo. "We try to avoid that—the reason being there are different standards of information in EHR systems," he said.

"[EHRs are] not in a structured format," Sørmo explained. "They can be in a PDF, they can be lots of text, and it can be hard to use some of that information."

Lab results and data from real-time monitoring equipment are more compatible with the CBR software, he said. Data entered in real time allows doctors to spot trends that indicate a patient is headed toward a problem.

Edge could help doctors determine that an aspirin taken before surgery could lead to a higher chance of blood loss and warn physicians before other patients suffer this type of complication.

The CBR technology comes with minimal implementation costs because health care organizations can integrate the software with its existing IT infrastructure, the company reported.

Doctors are testing the version of Edge for health care on the HTML5 platform, said Sørmo. The Web-based interface allows doctors to see a case onscreen that's similar to that of the patient on the operating room table, he said.