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Stasis Labs Bridges the Gap with Informed Virtual Action

Emerging HealthTech company, Stasis Labs, Inc. intends to bridge the gap between clinicians and their patients with an all-in-one FDA-cleared hardware and software solution, the Stasis Monitoring System.

Stasis Labs Bridges the Gap with Informed Virtual Action
  • Who’s Behind It: Michael Maylahn, Co-Founder & CEO and Dinesh Seemakurty, Co-Founder & CPO
  • Unmet Clinical Need: Due to the high cost and complexity of existing monitoring devices, vulnerable patients outside of the ICU are left without basic medical supervision. Tragically, up to 75% of injuries and deaths in hospitals happen to this patient population.
  • Solution: The Stasis Monitoring System, a reimbursable, all-in-one remote patient monitoring system that collects data to deliver insights for improved patient recovery
  • Financing: In 2016, Stasis Labs raised $5 million in its seed investment round led by RTP-Healthcare Ventures. The round also saw participation from Wonder Ventures, Techstars Ventures, among others.
  • Regulatory Pathway: Received its initial 510(k) FDA clearance in mid-2019

 

According to the CDC, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., accounting for more than 75% of the $3.5 trillion in annual US healthcare costs. However, according to clinicians, the mounting price tag isn’t the underlying problem, its workforce.

This observation is reinforced by a recent NCBI study, which states that, on average, nurses spend around 25% of their time on documentation, with nearly 15% of that time dedicated to monitoring patient vitals. Currently, the vast majority of patient monitoring systems require manual review. Since hospital patients need to have their vitals measured every 4 to 8 hours, this overconsumption of staff resources has triggered a snowball effect that leads to a significantly higher risk of infection and exposure to both the care teams and the patients themselves.

The emergence of remote patient monitoring systems (RPM) has undoubtedly helped mitigate this dependency on medical workers. However, the costs of purchasing a suite of connected RPM systems and employing an IT team to install and manage these historically overly-complex systems have proven unrealistic for most hospitals in the developed world and entirely prohibitive for underdeveloped healthcare systems. Existing RPMs also report poor patient compliance and a lack of clinical trust over time. These obstacles obligate healthcare systems to keep the limited number of monitoring systems primarily in more intensive areas, leaving patients on the general floor relatively unmonitored and vulnerable. So vulnerable, in fact, that this population makes up 75% of all hospital injuries and mortalities.

In 2012, former EMT and USC biomedical engineering student Dinesh Seemakurty traveled to India to visit relatives and returned outraged. “We were sitting in the lab one day, and Dinesh told me a story about being in the hospital with his grandfather,” begins co-Founder Michael Maylahn. “His grandpa was a COPD patient in the ICU. He starts doing better, and so they transfer him to the med-surg floor. Nurses come around checking on him every four to six hours, and in between checks, he starts deteriorating. But, no one’s aware of that.” Soon after, Maylahn explains, “they came to check on him, but his blood oxygen was in a critical state, and he was spiraling out of control. They tried to stabilize him, to rush him to the ICU, but they couldn’t, and he passed away.”

Nurses come around checking on him every four to six hours, and in between checks, he starts deteriorating. But, no one’s aware of that.”

Seemakurty’s grandfather was in a hospital, surrounded by “doctors in the building, nurses on the floor and a trained EMT sitting right next to him,” says Maylahn, “and what blew our minds, and honestly infuriated us, is that all they needed to do was put him on oxygen. But they just didn’t know.”

They tried to stabilize him, to rush him to the ICU, but they couldn’t, and he passed away.”

Reflecting, Maylahn and Seemakurty recognized “a clear information gap between how the patients are doing and what the nurses and doctors know.” And this is when “the light bulb moment came on,” says Maylahn. From there, the duo embarked on a journey “to use modern technology to start reducing that information gap, but also to make sure that we are reducing that gap for all patients, not just those of upper socioeconomic classes.” Three years later, Stasis Labs burst onto the market with a forward-thinking strategy to initially cater to underserved healthcare systems.

Maylahn was raised, literally, around the many sectors of the healthcare ecosystem. “I’m not exaggerating,” says Maylahn, “every member of my family is part of the healthcare industry. From doctors to medical device, to pharma, to insurance, to clinics in Uganda.” This unique perspective colored how Maylahn viewed the industry and inspired him to be conscientious that socioeconomic class and geography disproportionately determine access to quality healthcare. “I view healthcare as a human right,” says Maylahn, “I don’t get why there’s a delineation there, and it doesn’t make sense to me.”

“I view healthcare as a human right.”

Sharing the same belief, Maylahn and Seemakurty decided to build the first iteration of their RPM system “for the lowest common denominator: those that have no resources, no infrastructure, and no training. For those that have absolutely nothing,” says Maylahn. Their initial strategy took a more reverse innovation approach, “if you can build a solution that meets those requirements, you can always add more features and infrastructure to meet a more sophisticated enterprise solution,” he says.

Armed with a focused product development strategy and two years of market research, the co-founders collaborated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre to design a medical-grade, remote continuous monitoring system that is just as technologically sophisticated as the connected monitoring systems currently on the market, but that eliminates the complex infrastructure inherent in existing solutions, such as the need for an IT team, on-site servers, access to WiFi, gateways and desktop computers and ethernet wiring at every bed.

The Stasis Monitoring System, 510(k) cleared by the FDA, uses traditional sensors and an intuitive bedside monitor to continuously gather data from monitoring six key patient vitals: heart rate, oxygen saturation, three-lead ECG, respiratory rate, non-invasive BP, and temperature. In near real-time, the data is then sent to care teams via a secure cloud platform, easily accessible by staff through mobile apps or a desktop central monitoring station. As a result, care teams can make more informed clinical decisions based on trends from usage data, waveform data and clinical metadata. The data may be complex, but the setup is anything but, and can go live in just one day.

“They don’t need any IT background or anything to do that, a layman can do our installation.”

True to the vision, Maylahn and Seemakurty built the Stasis System to require only the barest of resources, an intermittent power source to operate, and minimal cellular service to connect to the proprietary Stasis tablet and app. The most common use case, in-facility, requires a simple implementation, which can be completed by facility staff. “They don’t need any IT background or anything to do that,” explains Maylahn, “a layman can do our installation.”

Stasis Monitoring System

Stasis Monitoring System

Early in 2020, this overconsumption of staff resources became severely exacerbated with the onset of the global COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, which by December has resulted in 68 million infections worldwide and has led to a dramatic increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations. Though the pandemic worsened the problem, it also highlighted the need for a scalable solution to counterbalance the fact that the number of available medical workers and vacant hospital beds is declining while infection exposure is rising – a catastrophe for healthcare systems, but an opportunity for Stasis Labs. There’s been a behavioral change in patients and clinicians, and in the industry with reimbursement, regulatory, and policy because of the pandemic, Maylahn explains. As a result, “We have a complete shift in the desires and constructs around building scalable virtual care.”

“We have a complete shift in the desires and constructs around building scalable virtual care.”

And over this year, the company has shown how they can preserve ICU resources for ventilated patients by expanding monitoring to lower areas of hospital care, surgery centers, ERs, facilities – even medical tents, and a patient’s car. All of which furthers the company’s goal to improve clinical, cost, and health outcomes by reducing infection exposure, saving care teams and clinicians hours per day, and providing more opportunities for patients to access healthcare when they need it most.

Since launching in 2015, Stasis Labs has made a significant impact on the global HealthTech industry. The company’s patient monitoring solution is currently in 75+ facilities, and its companion app is being used by 1,000+ doctors, with 50,000+ patients treated thus far. All of this has generated over one million hours of potentially game-changing data. “We focus not only on providing data to facilities but also providing actionable information about how they can improve their key metrics, such as average length of stay and average revenue per occupied bed,” says Maylahn.

Considering the future of healthcare, Maylahn shares his hope that, “technology further breaks down the barriers of healthcare access and augments clinical staff to more effectively and efficiently support their patients.”

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