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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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