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What is it worth to NOT visit the doctor’s office? Sense.ly is changing the medical technology.

What is it worth to NOT visit the doctor’s office? Sense.ly is changing the medicine.

“Sense.ly’s technology has applications across a broad spectrum of medical conditions and represents an exciting new tool in our efforts to address the growing burden of chronic diseases,” University of California, San Francisco’s Dr. Van Selby said in a statement.

Paradigm change – this is something I was completely unaware of and it’s about Obamacare. This quote from a recent Venture Beat article makes it pretty clear.

“In a sense, doctors will no longer be paid for the patients they see; they’ll be paid for patients they don’t see”.

Medical providers will be given a fixed amount for taking care of a given patient population. So if you don’t have to spend money to see a patient in person while maintaining high medical standards means you as the doctor becomes more profitable and can actually make more money. It would mean they want patients to maintain the highest possible health at all times. Keeping patients as far away from ER visits or hospital re-admissions would be the wisest and most cost efficient policy for doctors.

Sense.ly, a San Francisco-based startup that has now raised a new $1.25 million in venture funding to address various aspects of patient wellness and engagement. This is a young and upcoming product manager’s dream.

In the age of social media, Sense.ly has created an avatar or virtual nurse that goes by the name of Molly. Molly is your interface and point of contact for patients. This eliminates having to drive anywhere for medical attention. The software will allow you to give and receive information from their provider. Molly directly interfaces all information she receives to an IBM Watson supercomputer, which will link the symptoms to probable causes, then provide recommendations. If Watson decides that a real-time connection with the doctor is necessary, Sense.ly will establish a videoconference.

Sense.ly CEO Adam Odessky states the investment money will be used to “build out Sense.ly’s products, further expand the team, and broaden the company’s customer base”.

Odessky claims they have already bagged a number of big hospital customers to use the platform. I am not sure if the funding came before or after the big clients but anything that allows the prolific use of the software is ok by me. Sense.ly’s platform combines advanced sensor capabilities and mobile technology to reach outpatients. The system is also designed to have additional sensor components applied to the extremities, so a clinician can keep a constant eye on movement and other metrics.

The test program found a 28 percent reduction in patient calls. Sense.ly says it can return a fifth of the doctor’s daily productivity.

The Venture Beat article says that Sense.ly was incubated within Orange S.A., the leading France-based telecom and technology company, and launched independently in 2013. It is currently a member of the LaunchPad Digital Health accelerator program; previously, it was a graduate of the Alchemist Accelerator.

If you watch the attached video below…

You immediately realize the positive potential of this type of technology, but what I picked up immediately was the fact that, yes, costs are rising, and support is limited. In the video there were prerequisites in the patient’s answers; well what if you can’t answer the questions due to illness. How does Molly and the Watson supercomputer make a determination? I could picture thousands of individuals incapable of utilizing the software that need help. Will Watson just direct every individual to a doctor, thereby defeating the purpose of the tech or will you get an “I’m sorry, we can’t make clear what you are saying; please hang up and try again”, leaving people without support?

Unless the logistics have been thoroughly thought out and made very easy for the elderly to use, there’s gonna be a problem. On the positive futuristic side, I could see future hospitals being mini airports with fleets of drone doctors flying in and out people’s homes and scanning their bodies and performing a full workup right in your very home.

Sense.ly could be the beginning of something prolific.

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