During surgery, anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists have a lot of live parameters to keep an eye on, besides all the pre-op patient information that was gathered earlier. Moreover, all these data are typically presented using charts and numbers, requiring quite a bit of interpretation to make sense of it all. Dr. Kevin Tremper, Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor had the idea of bringing all this information together into one intuitive interface that would display it in a way that provides a effective understanding of patient status. This idea turned into a spinoff company called AlertWatch that has just been awarded FDA clearance for its new software.
Data is displayed alongside an abstracted animation of the patient’s cardiopulmonary system with live and pre-op readings positioned for quick understanding. This was motivated by airplane consoles that have changed significantly over the years to help pilots make smarter and faster decisions.
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The founding team also includes Dr. James Bagian, veteran astronaut and a faculty member in both industrial engineering and anesthesiology. Dr. Bagian has focused on patient safety, including as the founding director of the National Center for Patient Safety and the first chief patient safety officer for the Veterans Health Administration.
“The problem is pretty straightforward: the amount of data being produced for each patient is increasing, the complexity of care is increasing, and the number of people involved in that care keeps going up, but the practitioner’s ability to process all of the data remains fairly constant.”
“One of the things that we’ve learned from the aviation industry was that more data is not always better if it is not displayed in an actionable way.” Bagian added.
In addition to pilots running at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the University of Vermont, Adams said the company hopes to kick off installations at several large U.S. hospitals. AlertWatch also hopes to raise venture funding in 2014 to support sales and further R&D.
Product page: AlertWatch…