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Medical Tech Or Personal Touch? PeraHealth Has Cracked The Code

It just might be one of the biggest discussions in digital health—the role of technology as a replacement for that innate human connection.

Let’s face it: technology isn’t always a friend of medicine. Ask almost any clinician and you’re almost certain to get a mixed review of how technology has changed medicine–for better and worse.  The quintessential ‘human touch’ of care is commonly substituted for complex analytics and processes that leave us with a very cold stethoscope that chills both patient and clinician.  So, what really is it, tech or touch?  It seems to be that the argument has been made for both sides but an interesting option comes to us in the form of PeraHealth.

In many ways, PeraHealth is emerging as a prototypical digital health company that, at least for me, gets checks in many of the right boxes. Let’s take a closer look.

Citizen scientists with a deep emotional connections.

Many of today’s digital health innovators and startups are driven by personal experience.  PeraHealth’s founding purpose stems from the personal story of Michael and Steven Rothman. Their mother was hospitalized for valve replacement surgery, and while her doctors and nurses were competent and attentive, the system failed to detect her slow, post-op deterioration. Now this is key–her slow deterioration fell between the crack of human and technological assessment.  Mrs. Rothman died in the hospital.

Out of this personal tragedy, Michael and Steven were inspired to capture the wealth of data in the EHR and synthesize it into meaningful information to actively help clinicians. Together, the Rothman brothers analyzed the available clinical data and developed the Rothman Index (RI) model, which synthesizes EHR data into actionable information for care providers in the form of a health score measuring a patient’s overall condition and plotting it over time.

Rothman Healthcare was founded in 2005 to further validate the RI model and develop a software solution, now known as PeraTrend, for healthcare providers to utilize its predictive capabilities. The software that was developed enabled care providers to detect subtle signs of deterioration earlier and intervene sooner, improving patient safety and outcomes.  Today, PeraHealth offers a range of clinical surveillance solutions, working with more than 80 leading hospitals and care providers utilizing the Rothman Index.

A unique human perspective–leveraging the clinical assessment.

The Rothman Index is the only general measure of patient condition available to healthcare providers. It leverages hospitals’ EHR investments and utilizes existing, real-time data and predictive analytics to quantify and visualize patient acuity and risk. The RI model uses a range of physiological measures as inputs, including labs, vitals, and nursing assessments to produce a disease-agnostic, universal patient score from 0-100 that is presented in color-coded graphs trended over time. The result is a continuous measure of patient condition, integrated into the EHR, computed on a real-time basis across all conditions, diseases and care settings. This allows clinicians to quickly visualize a full picture of patient condition, understand which patients are at-risk of a serious health event, and take immediate action.

Ok, go re-read that paragraph.  You’ll begin to digest some important information.  And two key points might jump out at you. The first is essential and the core at differentiating PeraHealth.  It’s the inclusion of the nursing assessment–the human touch!  The second is a simple scoring process that feels a bit similar to a FICO score.  A trending score that is visceral and easy that doesn’t require complicated analysis.

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