2015 Up-and-Comer: EarlySense: Tracking Critical Patient Health Status

July 7, 2015
To accompany our Healthcare Informatics 100 list of the largest companies in U.S. health information technology every year, we like to give readers a heads-up on some fast-growing companies that could very well make the HCI 100 in years to come.

To accompany our Healthcare Informatics 100 list of the largest companies in U.S. health information technology every year, we like to give readers a heads-up on some fast-growing companies that could very well make the HCI 100 in years to come. In fact, one of the companies we chose as an Up-and-Comer in 2014, Evolent Health, recently registered for a $100 million initial public offering.

Some of the firms in this group may not have much revenue yet, but their growth trajectory suggests they could have a significant impact on the healthcare sector. Others are coming at seemingly intractable problems in healthcare from completely new angles. Keep your eye on these six.

How can hospitals get more immediate data about what is happening with patients in a medical-surgical unit? An Israel-based company is starting to gain traction because of the promising clinical research around its sensor placed under the patient’s mattress to monitor heart and respiratory rate, as well as movement and sleep.

In clinical studies, EarlySense’s solution has been shown to assist clinicians in early detection of patient deterioration and in identifying and preventing potential adverse events such as patient falls and pressure ulcers.  Although it was founded in Israel, EarlySense has received FDA approval and has an increasing presence in the United States, including use in several Veterans Administration hospitals, says Tim O’Malley, the company’s president.

EarlySense, whose U.S. headquarters are in Waltham, Mass., was actually created by its four founders as a way to monitor respiratory patterns of children with asthma in the home. Although the solution worked, they had trouble working through reimbursement issues, O’Malley says. So they expanded the use to encompass adverse event monitoring that could give early warning around specific events that had to do with heart rate, respiratory and body motion of a patient in the hospital. They introduced the current system just over three years ago.

O’Malley says that once a patient leaves post-anesthesia recovery, they are usually not monitored as closely.  “Lots of patients should be monitored on a continual or near-continual basis, but because of staffing issues they are monitored every two to four hours,” he says. “During that four-hour period we are going to have 50,000 data points and can send messages to the mobile communication devices used by hospital staff.”

Tim O’Malley

EarlySense has received clinical validation from both research studies and adding user sites, O’Malley says. “Our visibility has increased significantly in the market over the last 12 months. When you start to see the impact on a patient population, it becomes a powerful discussion at that point.”

Among its early users are two hospitals in Massachusetts: Metro West Medical Center in Framingham and Newton-Wellesley Hospital, which is the first hospital in the United States to implement continuous and contact-free monitoring on all of its general care beds, according to EarlySense.

In January 2015, EarlySense completed a $20 million financing round, led by Samsung Ventures with an investment of $10 million. Existing investors also participating included Pitango Venture Capital, Welch Allyn, JK&B, Proseed and Noaber.

The company also has an impressive medical advisory board that includes David Bates, M.D., senior vice president for quality and safety and chief quality officer for Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“When you look at our advisory board, and Dr. Bates is a great example, their big concern is enhancing patient safety,” O’Malley says. “They realize that as the Baby Boom generation ages, we are going to face big challenges and we need to have technology help us overcome those.”

The privately held company does not reveal revenue figures, but O’Malley says the 70-employee EarlySense’s revenue doubled from 2013 to 2014 and he expects it to double again this year.

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