With the fast shift to virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic, remote monitoring technology has proved its value during a crisis.
As the CEO of remote monitoring startup Stasis Labs, Michael Maylahn has been talking to doctors, nurses and device manufacturers about virtual care for the past five years.
But in the past four months, those conversations shifted dramatically, he said.
"The same people I talked to last year will now look at it and rather than seeing it as a nice helpful tool that is part of the future of healthcare, they see it as 'it's here, today' and they want to figure out how to adopt this more," Maylahn told Fierce Healthcare.
Since launching in 2015, Stasis Labs has focused on the healthcare market in India where its monitors are being used in 50 facilities and provided care for 30,000 patients.
The company is now rapidly scaling its operation to meet demand in the U.S. created by the pandemic.
As coronavirus cases began surging in Texas in June, emergency rooms across the state reached capacity and clinical staff in many have had to stretch to their limits.
At Hospitality Health ER, a free-standing emergency care provider with three locations in Texas, clinicians are providing care to suspected COVID patients in a quarantine tent, makeshift buildings and even in patients' cars, according to Jeffrey Beers, physician director at Hospitality Health ER.
"We are moving around from one location to the next and we needed a way to be able to know if a patient is unstable or stable, or if there were changes and monitor that from a computer or smartphone," Beers told Fierce Healthcare.
The provider is using Stasis Labs' technology to monitor COVID-19 patients who are housed separately from the main ER center. Doctors and nurses are able to track patients' vital signs while reducing exposure for the clinical team and other patients, Beers said.
Glendale Surgical Center and Orthopedic Surgery Specialists in California is using the automated vital-monitoring and data-analytics technology to improve outpatient surgery selection and patient discharge.
With remote monitoring technology, the facility can more closely and more efficiently manage patient status, especially during periods of high volume, according to Ray Raven, CEO and managing partner of Glendale Surgical Center.
Stasis developed a smart device and cloud platform that remote measures heart rate, blood oxygen, three-lead electrocardiogram, respiratory rate, blood pressure and temperature.
Using traditional sensors and an easy-to-read bedside monitor, Stasis gathers the data and makes it available to clinical staff via apps on their smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop central monitoring station.
Stasis Labs developed its platform as a medical-grade connected vital signs monitoring system that is robust enough to work in hospitals and outpatient facilities but also simple enough to not require sophisticated infrastructure, on-premise servers, electronic medical records or even WiFi, according to Maylahn.
Because Stasis Labs is a cloud-based, plug-and-play system, Hospitality Health was able to go-live in just one day, Beers told Fierce Healthcare.
Maylahn believes the current crisis will accelerate the broader adoption of remote monitoring for other use cases.
Maylahn and co-founder Dinesh Seemakurty built Stasis Labs' remote monitoring technology leveraging their biomedical engineering backgrounds. They met at the University of Southern California and wanted to build a simple platform that helps clinicians stay continuously connected to their patients at any time or place, and get notified about any health alerts.
On average 80% of patients in emerging markets, and 60% of patients in developed countries have their vitals checked manually every 4 to 8 hours because existing monitoring systems are overly complex and cost prohibitive, Maylahn said.
Even before coronavirus, the remote patient monitoring technology market was projected to double over the next few years. Research and Markets recently revised its predictions to indicate faster growth—from $745.7 million this year to more than $1.7 billion by 2027.
But many outpatient facilities don't have the robust infrastructure for sophisitcated remote monitoring platforms.
"Large players like Philips and GE have built a Lamborghini product for medical centers with ethernet and on-premise servers, EMR configurations and Wifi and third-party apps. It's a complicated installation process," Maylahn said. "We designed this with ease of implementation in mind without needing a lot of infrastructure, which is a big problem when it comes to where the rubber meets the road."
Stasis only needs an intermittent power source to operate and minimal cellular service to connect to the tablet and app, according to the company.
The company's technology received its initial 510(k) FDA clearance in mid 2019.