AirStrip has made plenty of headlines in the past for delivering cutting-edge apps that show live patient monitoring to iOS and Android devices. The company brings ICU, OB & fetal, and cardiology monitoring, in conjunction with nursing notes, order results, and other historical data into a touchscreen-friendly interface. Their work has been featured on Apple’s top medical apps and commercials.
Their most recent work, AirStrip ONE, brings together data from multiple sources and even multiple electronic medical record systems (EMR’s) into one attractive app.
iMedicalApps recently interviewed AirStrip COO Matt Patterson, MD. Dr. Patterson trained in otolaryngology in the U.S. Navy, served as Medical Director of the Naval Special Warfare Center in San Diego, CA — the elite training command of the U.S. Navy SEALs — then joined McKinsey & Company’s healthcare practice. He is now responsible for operations at AirStrip.
How did you transition from physician to consultant to executive of one of the most prominent mobile health companies?
Matt Patterson MD: I had an epiphany that I wanted my professional life dedicated to transformation of healthcare at a large scale. I liked being a surgeon, I liked caring for patients. I didn’t get disillusioned, nothing like that, but I wanted to make a difference at scale. [I heard about McKinsey], I looked into it, and felt that those guys were really at the table with all the players of the value chain. I joined McKinsey, worked on strategy and operations with large health systems in the U.S. Then AirStrip came up through a mutual friend through Alan Portela and myself.
AirStrip is known for having apps in various specialties. Where is AirStrip headed right now?
Matt Patterson MD: AirStrip over the past year has gone through an internal transformation. “We disrupt ourselves!” Right now our focus is on a single mobility solution called Airstrip ONE and that our enterprise solution is the first and only complete vendor and data-agnostic solution on the market. What we are focused on is a single application, a single user interface (UI), with bidirectional [flow of data]. This [allows] a doctor to impact patient care, regardless of where the patient is – inside or outside the hospital, across all monitoring and EMR sources, imaging, you name it.We have a lot of partners actively working in the device space, and we’re committed to providing a UI and platform.
Why should doctors care about AirStrip ONE?
Matt Patterson MD: : We have a strong value proposition for physicians: avoiding “app-ing” the doctor to death [with having to use multiple apps]. We provide a way for physicians to interact with multiple input systems, with one sign-on, one context management, one UI to match patient and provider across systems. That’s a huge workflow win, especially since they’re tasked to carry more patients with less time. We want to allow physicians to view and even edit data across multiple EMRs.
How about hospital systems? Or physician groups?
Matt Patterson MD: On the enterprise front, for our clients, it’s about leveraging the existing technology right now, and not having the capital funds to rip and replace systems across their enterprise. We have care collaboration at every step, including secure links that you can email or text someone that links to AirStrip data. By [the first half of this year] we’ll have integrated secure messaging, and longer term we want to include patients in the loop.
So how can doctors use this app?
Matt Patterson MD: [Historically], our primary space is cardiovascular and critical care/home care and women’s health, something requiring a lot of monitoring. Going forward, this could be really open to anybody or anything, so if I’m a family medicine doc on call, and participating in an at-risk entity like an ACO, AirStrip will help me understand [which patient] is potentially at the highest clinical risk, & who I need to pay attention to. If their home monitoring [gets triggered, I can] go back and review everything about that patient (he proceeds to show the patient chart on the iPad): I can review the last H&P, the last progress note my colleague entered, I can look at their meds.
We’ll support order entry, too. So say they’re having shortness of breath. Here’s the data, I get a notification, I see the home data, their last inpatient data, their last clinic data. I will be able to enter in new meds for the patient, and then message the care team to ask them to show up. There, you avoid a readmission! That’s great!
We can just as easily describe a scenario where they’re decompensating in a unit … and the bedside provider is talking to a remote specialist.
That’s impressive. How did you end up getting all this data?
Matt Patterson MD: Our preference is providing a near real-time integration to the source: we just access that data on the fly, requiring adapters, API’s, that sort of thing. A second way to do this: using HL7 for inpatient or CCD for outpatient.
A lot of our readers are healthcare professionals — doctors, pharmacists, you name it — and are interested in crafting their own apps and devices. What advice would you give them?
Matt Patterson MD: If they’re interested in clinical transformation & technology, [they should] engage in conversations with technology makers in a partnership way as opposed to a vendor-customer way. [That means moving] beyond the up-front conversations that are rigid about return on investment [ROI] and cost or return. Instead, have a conversation [like], “Let’s imagine anything is possible. How would you care for patients? If you could do anything you wanted, how would you care for them?” That changes the conversation and challenges the technology makers to create something for that goal, as opposed to [creating] an already-made tool and pitching it and saying, “Use this!” Clinical transformation is a conversation between clinician leaders and tech leaders.
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