Vinnie Ramesh CTO and Co-founder of Wellframe characterized his company as the “clinical backend for the quantified self,” and we were definitely interested to hear more.
Wellframe has positioned itself between healthcare patients who need guidance and healthcare professionals who need to oversee the conditions of these patients. In a typical example, a patient has had heart surgery. The patient will be given a prescribed regimen for recovering after surgery. Ramesh points out that while classes are offered for cardiac rehab, these involve time and inconvenience, as well as co-pays for the patient.
Through its cloud, Wellframe provides the patient with information that incorporates the best practice protocols for cardiac rehab. The information is made accessible to the patient through a mobile app. Ramesh emphasizes the simplicity of the screens and instruction set for the user. The company offers apps for both iOS and Android users. The user is given daily instructions of steps to follow.
On the caregiver side, the company provides a dashboard which enables a nurse or other professional to track the activity of thousands of patients on a continuous basis, rather than having to rely on visits to a small number of patients per professional (“a 5X increase in patient: care manager ratio,” according to the company.)
Wellframe was founded by four individuals who collectively had backgrounds in medicine, epidemiology, engineering and computer science. They have sought to combine medical information with an artificial intelligence engine that “uses data from patient’s interaction with their care plans to optimize the system,” making the system adaptive. Their system uses a proprietary logic structure, which, Ramesh explains, allows them to combine, e.g., diabetes and cardio, protocol information. “It is an authoring environment,” he states.
Wellframe sells primarily to healthcare plans and insurance companies. Ramesh states that most of their deployments have been to insurance companies for disease management. He says they have focused primarily on cardio disease, mental health, pulmonary disease and diabetes.
Wellframe expects soon to have hundreds of thousands of patients on their system. This will enable them to start to gather very big insights on patient behavior. Ramesh asserts that they don’t regard the system as an app. “It is a gateway to your nurse,” he emphasizes.
The company has completed successful trials with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and South Shore Hospital. The Boston-based company currently has 15 employees.
One question that arises with in-home mobile healthcare systems is whether they may at some point cross the line to attracting regulation. Ramesh explains that Wellframe “doesn’t dictate practice of medicine, it just improves delivery of well-documented information.”
Also confronting all providers of the new tools for in-home mobile health apps and services is the issue of patient engagement. Ramesh states that for Wellframe the engagement level is “pretty high.” He believes that their results are due in part to the patient’s awareness that there is someone on the caregiver side who is observing their results and adherence, and also to the fact that they have kept the app screens simple and easy for the patient to follow.
What’s in the future for this fast-moving company? Will they incorporate data from patient sensors into their system? Ramesh responds that they haven’t seen much demand for it yet, but plan to do it in the future when the number of sensors in use increases.
Wellframe also has a large pipeline of potential contracts and is expecting some of them to hit in the next few months. They also will extend their coverage of additional disease and medical conditions. They believe that they will accumulate Big Data about patient behavior and they will also study how providers are actually using their dashboards. They will also continue to analyze what works regarding increasing user engagement. “We will work on making treatments more effective,” Ramesh declares.
Visit Website: http://wellfra.me/