AirStrip CEO Alan Portela: Mobile tools will 'revolutionize' care delivery in 2016

While AirStrip just debuted a compelling Apple Watch-based app and monitoring solution to drive deeper communication, data sharing and provide real-time interaction between doctors and patients outside the traditional clinical setting, next year will be the year of true innovation, according to CEO Alan Portela.

"I declare 2016 will the year where the introduction of sophisticated communication and coordination tools such as tablets, smartphones and watches will revolutionize the way care is delivered," he told FierceMobileHealthcare in an exclusive interview.

The year may also be a ripe timeframe for AirStrip's initial public offering.

"An IPO may be an interesting way to develop AirStrip. 2016 might be the time to consider it, and make some important decisions about the company's future," said the CEO.

The San Antonio-based vendor initially developed apps for re-rendering medical devices on mobile devices and holds a patent for that innovation. It has focused on monitoring pregnant women as well as fetal heart rate, and its latest innovation, which remains to be field validated and attain regulatory approval before general availability, represents the next generation of remote monitoring, according to Portela.

"What you witnessed during the Apple event is not about the creation of an app but about the introduction of the Apple Watch as a significant tool for care coordination and the next generation of remote monitoring," Portela said. "It is about bridging the communication gap between the patient and the care coordination team."

About five years ago, AirStrip launched additional mHealth monitoring capabilities, focusing on electro cardiogram exams on patients in route to emergency centers and monitoring intensive care unit patients. Its current app extends that capability and lets physicians monitor moms-to-be throughout pregnancy using a non-invasive fetal monitoring approach. It plans to launch similar apps in the near future for monitoring potential heart failure and diabetics in remote locations.

"A decade in the mHealth industry taught us that technology can only enable clinical transformation once you automate the entire workflow and communication between caregivers and patients," Portela said. "To support this in acute and post-acute environments, we developed a platform that collects data from multiple data types and clinical environments allowing doctors to view that data in a near real time basis on mobile devices."

Portela pointed to the Affordable Care Act as a prime technology stimulant, forcing mHealth developers to look beyond what the industry calls disruptive innovation and move into disruptive transformation.

"Unless we quickly bring technology to enable transformation, the system will implode," he said. "Transformation moving forward is only possible with strong collaboration between vendors, providers, pharma, payers and the federal government. The demand for sophisticated communication and coordination tools such as tablets, smartphones and watches will revolutionize the way care is delivered."