David Ormesher, founder and CEO of closerlook Innovation within life sciences has never been more critical. While many of the leading global biopharma companies race to develop a new vaccine to fight Covid-19, numerous promising new products are coming out of the labs of early-stage health and technology companies to attack the pandemic along with its debilitating impact on chronic diseases. With the help of David Ormesher, founder and CEO of closerlook, here is a selection of ones that we have identified.
PHYSIQ: REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING AND EARLY ALERTS PhysIQ has made its wearable biosensor product, pinpointIQ™, pandemic-ready. With pinpointIQ, providers can track and monitor patients continuously, whether they’ve been quarantined or sent home to recover after a hospital stay. The AI-powered analytics can detect meaningful changes in a patient’s underlying condition even before symptoms are manifested. Their proprietary analytics are FDA cleared and are currently being utilized by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine to evaluate advanced technologies for disease outbreak Gary Conkright, CEO of PhysIQ preparedness. PhysIQ’s analytics has the capability to characterize immune response to infection, evaluate novel diagnostic and prognostic tools, and investigate the efficacy of investigational drug therapies that may be administered to enrolled participants. “It is becoming more obvious that we need to deliver Covid-19 care in the home since hospital capacity cannot keep up with the fallout of this devastating virus,” says Gary Conkright, CEO of PhysIQ. “Achieving this will require clinical and physiological insight traditionally not available in an outpatient environment or with periodic spot checks of vitals that appear to be lagging indicators with this virus.” Given the nature of the continuous data collection within the pinpointIQ™ platform, study clinicians will have rapid access to streaming data and analytics to monitor individuals with confirmed cases or to decide if those who have been exposed should continue to self-isolate at home or require hospitalization. PhysIQ’s remote monitoring technology was first tested during the Ebola crisis in 2014. The wearable clinicalgrade biosensor is the size of large bandage and tracks and uploads continuous data, such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and temperature to the cloud-based analytics engine for processing of the raw vital sign data.
CLEARSTEP: INTELLIGENT SYMPTOM CHECKING Clearstep is a platform that applies intelligent symptom checking to deliver a fully consumerized healthcare experience using AI technology. Their Covid-19 Screener is based on guidelines from the CDC, New York Department of Health, King’s College and University of California. What makes their screener different from others? It incorporates underlying symptoms (eg, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease), making it a more reliable and safer triage tool. Their Covid-19 screener was deployed at a health system in Florida and within days was demonstrating its ability to respond quickly. The screener drew the attention of several national media, including Mashable, TechCrunch, and Fox News. CEO Adeel Malik: email@example.com
MYNDYOU: MONITORING SYMPTOMS WITH AI MyndYou’s AI-driven voice bot, MyEleanor, can be utilized by healthcare providers to monitor and detect coronavirus symptoms and help them deliver personalized care to highrisk patients who may not have access to treatment otherwise. MyEleanor calls individuals directly or acts as a hotline, asking a series of questions to assess risk, manage symptoms, and provide guidance. Behind the scenes is an AI-driven passive voice analytics engine. Whether through MyEleanor calls or sessions with individual care professionals, each call uses “brain-driven” technology, working in the background to detect subtle changes in health and trigger proactive interventions. The MyndYou solution was initially designed to help older adults stay independent by keeping up with the daily changes in cognitive and behavioral function. The app informs providers of any anomalies in patients’ functional routines. During the pandemic, the device is helpful for vulnerable populations in social isolation by providing for continued engagement and stimulation. Remote monitoring of high-risk populations also provides a level of protection for healthcare workers who otherwise might be exposed. Founder, CEO: Ruth Poliakine Baruchi firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 RELATED CLINICAL TRIALS With the rapid spread of Covid-19 and the deployment of healthcare professionals in academic centers to triage the sudden surge of patients, many clinical trials have come to a halt. There are concerns on the part of both healthcare professionals and patients about the health risks of visits to a clinical site for a scheduled study visit. The clinical research field needs tools and support for remote patient recruitment, virtual research, and remote monitoring software. In addition, with Covid-19 disproportionately impacting the black and Latinx communities, it will be critical that clinical trials are designed with strong minority representation.
IONIQ SCIENCES: PROLUNG TEST The sudden emergence of Covid-19 has been particularly challenging for patients with existing chronic illnesses such as cancer. It’s important that research and innovation continue to focus on these fundamental health issues in parallel with the focused efforts on Covid-19. One in two Americans will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, and one in five will die. Clinical evidence demonstrates that early detection can save lives and money. The five-year cancer survival rates approach 90% when diagnosed in the earliest stages of the disease, versus less than 10% in the later stages. IONIQ Sciences, Inc. is working to change the early detection landscape for cancer. The body’s electrical properties change in the presence of cancer. By detecting the body’s earliest response to cancer, IONIQ Sciences aims to expand the therapeutic window, dramatically improving survivability and reducing the cost of healthcare. Their approach is an advanced multi-cancer screening technology, employing both Electrical Impedance Analytics (EIA) and artificial intelligence (AI). IONIQ Science’s first product utilizes a proprietary analytic platform, the ProLung Test™ for lung cancer. EIA takes up to 13,125 electrical readings of the body over a 20-minute period with a non-invasive test. IONIQ’s proprietary algorithm processes this data to detect the presence of malignancy in its earliest, most-treatable stages. IONIQ is integrating AI to further improve performance and expand from its ProLung Test to a multicancer screen. • Clinical Data: IONIQ has assembled a deep clinical evidence library with data from 7 studies and trials; more than 1,200 subjects and more than 20,000,000 data points • Premier Clinical Sites: More than 20 premier cancer institutions around the world have participated in the clinical trials • Awarded Breakthrough Device Designation: IONIQ’s ProLung Test was awarded Breakthrough Device designation by the FDA for its life-enhancing potential • Intellectual Property: Robust, growing intellectual portfolio of patents and know-how Andy Robertson, VP Business Development for IONIQ Sciences is at email@example.com or write to
CUREBASE: DECENTRALIZED CLINICAL TRIALS Curebase solves the problem of recruiting and supporting patients for clinical trials without having to go to a physician’s office. They offer full-service digital CRO capabilities and software for decentralized clinical trials. Homebased clinical trials are more important now because they can reach patients everywhere, are affordable, produce realistic data, and prevent the spread of the virus. In response to the pandemic, the startup launched CURE-19 in collaboration with three partner companies to recruit patients for at-home studies into Covid-19. They’re offering to recruit and track trial patients for free as long as the data they collect and monitor becomes public. CURE-19 is recruiting patients for the following studies: • Exploring how DNA may impact Covid-19 severity and risk • Identifying and monitoring pre-symptomatic Covid-19 patients • Looking for Covid-19 biomarkers in gut microbiome Founder & CEO: Thomas Lemberg firstname.lastname@example.org
ONDINE: NASAL PHOTODISINFECTION TECHNOLOGY Ondine Biomedical’s novel nasal photodisinfection technology is designed to sterilize the nasal and upper airway. Ondine’s patented, light-activated technology platform, called antimicrobial photodisinfection (aPDT), provides rapid destruction of a broad spectrum of pathogens without encouraging antibiotic resistance. Photodisinfection has been shown to kill many different viruses, including coronaviruses, herpes viruses, hepatitis viruses and others, as well as virtually all pathogenic bacteria. Eliminating or decreasing the viral load in the upper airway may prevent or delay the onset of more acute respiratory infections in patients. Ondine is working to determine whether targeted viral decontamination could provide a benefit to at-risk Covid-19 patients. “Pre-pandemic, the technology has been used for eight years in Canada to reduce post-surgery infections by close to 80%,” according to Michelle Anscheutz, chief commercial officer. “We are working with investigators to study the impact of killing the SARS-VoV-2 virus.” The company is currently applying its technology for disinfecting the noses of seniors at nursing homes and surgical centers, and for frontline workers. Ondine has applied for Expanded Access designation for its technology from the FDA and is awaiting approval. CEO: Carolyn Cross Chief Commercial Officer: Michelle Anscheutz email@example.com
DINA: AI-POWERED CARE COORDINATION As states reopen and employees begin to return to work, there is significant concern about the ability of businesses to effectively screen employees for Covid-19 symptoms. What is needed is a scalable platform that is able to automate the screening process and direct possible symptomatic employees to the right healthcare setting. Dina (formerly Prepared Health) is an AI-powered care coordination platform with a full line of products designed to improve visibility and coordination to post-acute and in-home care providers. One of their newest products, Employee Health and Wellness Screening, is a platform that companies can use to screen employees for possible Covid-19 symptoms prior to starting their shift or entering the workplace. The text-based screening and check-in tools are intuitive and easy to use. Based on response, employees may be directed to a telehealth visit or review self-care resources. HR compliance reporting is activated if an individual is experiencing symptoms or must self-quarantine. The screener can be used in office and industry settings and integrated into nursing homes and other healthcare environments. Dina had its start in hospitals, so it makes sense that the app has a comprehensive remote monitoring system for discharged patients. Dina says their tech is HIPAA compliant. Co-Founder and CEO: Ashish Shah
DRUGVIU: HEALTHCARE DATA FROM COMMUNITIES OF COLOR Drugviu is a registry of nonwhite patients and their personal health experiences. Although 40% of Americans are non-white, clinical trials have on average less than 8% minority representation. This means there is not enough data on how medications affect people of color. Drugviu offers an online patient community where persons of color can share their medication experiences and side effects. At the same time, it is building a non-white patient registry for clinical trial patient recruitment. With the devastating impact of Covid-19 among black and brown Americans, Drugviu is creating the largest dataset of minorities who have been tested for the coronavirus. This registry is being developed to be a research platform for future studies on the effect of Covid-19 on patients with comorbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension, or auto immune diseases. It will also serve as a valuable registry of non-white populations for vaccine studies. One outcome of institutional racism within healthcare is a deep distrust of clinical trials by black Americans. There is a depressing history of abuse and exploitation of blacks for medical research throughout the slavery and post-slavery years, culminating in the 40-year Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which only ended in 1972. “One of the underlying root causes for lack of minority participation in clinical trials is trust,” said Kwaku Owusu, co-founder and CEO of Drugviu. “Our unique registry platform hopes to answer this problem.” Owusu also indicated that encouraging minorities to participate in investigational studies requires a different approach than just saying the trials must diversify its participants. “That’s the last thing on their minds,” he said. “For those in biopharma or academia, the pitch to participate to these groups should be to give them free access to promising therapies that aren’t yet available.” Co-Founders: Kwaku Owusu (K.firstname.lastname@example.org) and Melanie Igwe.