Healthcare Information Governance – what is it and what are my obligations? – March 4, 2021
The Digital Health Integration Readiness Platform, also known as Pre-HaTCH, kicked off its first session on March 4, 2021. Participating companies joined the virtual session to develop best practices and share resources needed to navigate complex integration requirements to succeed in the Alberta health system.
The first session discussed healthcare information governance, which includes the policies and procedures followed by health companies to securely collect and use health data, and the ways companies must adhere to regulations. It is the first step in developing a data governance plan.
8 Bit Cortex, a collaboration between innovators to democratize mental health care access through gamification, found it a helpful exercise to ensure companies don’t move forward in the wrong direction. When asked how the group will use the concepts discussed, Co-Founder Shannon Snaden mentioned it highlights the need for a data management framework so best practices are followed prior to beginning data collection.
“It is important to only collect the personal health information that is necessary for service as there is a cost for managing, storing, compliance and mitigating against potential risk with data.”
Wolsler Corp. is the creator of Vestibule, a secure web-based platform designed to improve the medical referral process. The company was especially interested in the idea of digital verification of providers.
“At Wosler, we aim to connect healthcare providers with one another. In order to do this securely, we also have to verify that the people that we are sharing patients’ healthcare information with are licensed and regulated providers,” shared Henry Madubuobi, CEO of Vestibule.
Mike Stewart, VP of Business Development at My Viva Inc, added, “It is great to see the level of accuracy in the understanding of the issues as they were a clear description of where we see the issues as well. It’s exciting to work on solutions that will help numerous advanced technological processes in the health industry.”
When asked what effect the session will have on the future of My Viva Inc’s business, Mike said the ability to recognize the exact obstacles that are common to a variety of other software and manual processes (technological innovation) will allow the company to overcome them and knit a number of new solutions to extend the effectiveness of digital health.
The second Pre-HaTCH session is scheduled for March 11, 2021.
Learn about the companies involved:
8 Bit Cortex is driven to build healthier communities through gamified mental health assessments that are available online, anytime. Our vision is to see a world where people are engaged in cultivating their psychological wellbeing with personalized insight into how to make that happen.
Wosler Corp. is a healthcare technology company with the goal of improving healthcare access to patients in rural and remote areas. Vestibule, created by Wosler Corp., is a secure web-based platform designed to improve the medical referral process.
My Viva Plan® is a digital health program that uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques to engage users in self-care which is the most important component to changing course for people who battle with mental health issues and lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure.
Mental and physical health do not function independently, they are deeply integrated with one another. While you may need medication or other mental or physical therapies to help manage your health, nothing can ever replace self-care.
We help you take control of your health through the 3 pillars of self-care: Mind. Nutrition. Fitness.
Session Two: Healthcare Information Governance – what are the risks and how do I manage them? – March 11, 2021
On March 11, 2021, the first Pre-HaTCH cohort attended Session Two of the Digital Health Integration Readiness Platform. The second session examined the risks and risk management associated with healthcare information. Healthcare information governance is a critical topic for companies involved in digital health, as many risks exist in collecting and evaluating health data. Session Two covered the ways in which companies can manage those risks, including keeping up with evolving regulatory requirements and length of time information is stored within the companies’ systems.
“The healthcare information landscape is evolving rapidly. Many elements of this evolution favor the individual patient, which is good. But other elements favor further entrenchment of established information access and flow structures, and it’s all happening at different paces in different jurisdiction. This provides no shortage of challenges for ‘fast moving innovators,’” states John Ralston, CEO at Protxx, Inc.
Protxx, Inc specializes in innovations in wearable sensors and machine learning that transform the lives of people living with complex neurophysiological conditions. PROTXX is led by an accomplished team of IoT device and data platform engineers, clinical neurology researchers and practitioners, and digital healthcare business professionals, and is supported by a well-established network of R&D, manufacturing, clinical pilot, and distributor partners in Canada and the U.S. The team of experts is no stranger to regulatory requirements. However, Ralston mentions it is unclear how much of a voice health innovators have had in the regulatory discussions or how efficiently smaller innovators are being kept informed.
“This may be imposing significant new costs on innovation,” Ralston adds. “All of the concepts discussed today will help us to continue ensuring the right commercial balance between enhancing healthcare quality of care and outcomes for our target end-user populations, while adapting to evolving regulatory requirements and minimizing exposure to related legal and financial risks. We will be putting our heads together to decide how best to assign ownership of the various pieces of this puzzle, so that no pieces fall off the table.”
Paradem, a distributed software and product consultancy, appreciates the opportunity to develop the language needed to write the company’s governance that it shares with users and agencies. “Less unknowns,” says Shawyun Refahi, Business Development at Paradem. “The concepts teach how to mitigate the risk associated with private information, and what happens to it before it’s transferred to the electronic medical records. Our biggest takeaway was thinking about the privacy implication of our product being used in clinics, the responsibilities the custodians of our product have, and the steps they need to take with their affiliates and other doctors.”
Coalese Health is a software company that provides primary care physicians and their patients with the ability to view their electronic medical records in a comprehensive and quick-to-understand format. While the company has experience with managing health information, the session still proved a useful refresher on risk management processes. Stephen Naor, CEO at Coalese Health, says, “I found today’s session to be really worthwhile as it was down to earth and practical, just what less experienced companies need at this stage.”
The next Pre-HaTCH session is scheduled for March 18, 2021.
Learn about the companies involved:
PROTXX innovations in wearable sensors, machine learning, and remote patient monitoring transform the lives of tens of millions of people with complex neurophysiological medical conditions that can result from injuries, disease, aging, or genetic disorders, and can lead to impairments to multiple physiological systems. Current solutions for diagnosing these multiple impairments and monitoring the effectiveness of treatments and rehabilitation either (i) require multiple time-consuming tests carried out by multiple clinical specialists using expensive lab equipment, or (ii) are limited to subjective observations and reliance on patient self-reporting. The PROTXX physiological vibration acceleration (“phybrata”) sensor delivers an innovative solution to this problem by enabling much easier to use, lower cost, in-clinic and remote assessments and management of these multiple impairments. The phybrata sensor, mobile app, and cloud-based data services have been integrated into a platform-as-a-service solution licensed to healthcare delivery and research organizations. Current customers include large healthcare systems deploying their own branded version of the PROTXX app, along with clinical neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and sports medicine groups leveraging the PROTXX platform to improve diagnoses and treatments for a growing range of neurological conditions, including concussions, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. PROTXX is led by an accomplished team of IoT device and data platform engineers, clinical neurology researchers and practitioners, and digital healthcare business professionals, and is supported by a well-established network of R&D, manufacturing, clinical pilot, and distributor partners in Canada and the U.S.
Paradem is a distributed software and product consultancy. We design, build, and support line-of business applications across multiple industries.
Our remote-friendly product development process allows us to deliver projects successfully by working in close collaboration with partners and stakeholders to establish business processes and produce tailored software solutions.
Coalese Health is a Calgary-based software company providing primary care physicians and their patients the ability to view their electronic medical records (EMR) in a comprehensive and quick-to-understand format. Improved viewing of health data, combined with analytics that makes the information truly actionable, provides unique insights to both physicians and patients. This leads to a more in-depth understanding of chronic conditions and thus, to improved health outcomes.
Session Three: Healthcare Innovation – a deep dive into systems – March 18, 2021
The third session for the Digital Health Integration Readiness Platform (Pre-HaTCH) was held on March 18, 2021. The session took the topics from previous weeks and applied the lessons on a granular level. The cohort was asked to create plans for their respective companies, followed by a review from the session leads.
“The program is truly invaluable – we’re being stretched by it, but in a good way,” explained Claire Dixon, Co-Founder and COO at Neuraura, an Alberta-based company that develops fully implantable medical devices to improve the lives of people suffering from neurological, psychiatric, and sensory conditions. “I love how things are really coming together in terms of joining the dots between company goals and context, through specific actions or requirements.”
Each company was provided a set of worksheets to complete that assessed the current privacy risks arising from data processing or interactions with systems, products, or services. Participants were tasked with completing the worksheets to see where their companies’ systems needed support and where the systems excelled.
“We will be integrating our learnings in a few ways, including overall assurance policy, risk analysis and supplier RFPs, and our longer-term data strategy,” said Dixon. “We feel a lot more confident in understanding the legislation, frameworks, and tools. We ultimately will de-risk our product based on understanding this now, rather than later in our company evolution.”
AltumView is a Vancouver-based company developing an innovative, artificial intelligence (AI)-based activity sensor system for senior care and telehealth. Jie Liang, President and CEO of AltumView Systems, said, “The session provided us with a better overall understanding about the regulations in order for our product to get into the healthcare system. We will improve our internal policies and product design to meet the requirements of these regulations.”
When asked about the affect this session will have on the future of AltumView’s business, Liang added, “It helps us to plan earlier and schedule accordingly.”
The fourth and final Pre-HaTCH session will be held on Thursday, March 25, 2021.
Learn about the companies involved:
Neuraura was founded to improve the lives of billions of people suffering from neurological, psychiatric and sensory conditions through the development of fully implantable medical devices with closed-loop recording and stimulation, also known as neuromodulation.
Neuromodulation and the related field of brain machine interfaces (“BMI”) are two of the fastest growing fields in Medical Technology. Applications for neuromodulation span neurological, psychiatric and sensory conditions, including “below the neck” applications. Applications for BMI span communications, prosthetic control and cognitive enhancement.
Neuraura’s initial clinical application is for the epilepsy surgery and monitoring market, which represents an under-served market opportunity, has an accelerated regulatory pathway and provides access to electrophysiological patient data. The components of Neuraura’s solution include proprietary microsensors, hardware to wirelessly transmit data and software to visualize the data. The company will also commercialize its technology for non-clinical (research and drug-screening) applications.
AltumView is a Vancouver company developing an innovative, AI-based activity sensor system for senior care and telehealth.
Our vision is to be a global leader of intelligent healthcare solutions. Our mission is to develop innovative AI solutions to help people live a safer and healthier lifestyle.
Session Four – Health Ecosystem & Partner Opportunities – March 25, 2021
On March 25, 2021, the Digital Health Integration Readiness Platform cohort met for the last time. On the agenda for the day: exploring the health ecosystem and applying concepts learned on a personalized level.
The session curriculum covered global regulations and best practices. Preparing for local regulations is essential to reach commercialization; preparing for global regulations is essential to scaling a business, especially in other jurisdictions. Participants were asked to examine the concept of “privacy by design”, which teaches the importance of incorporating privacy and security compliance from the ground up, and at every level. Additionally, the participants worked directly with session leaders to identify gaps or risks, and find long-term solutions.
Sally Abou-Zeki, Director of Compliance at Qualisure Diagnostics, a precision oncology company, shared her thoughts on the final session.
“The privacy by design concept has taught us to be mindful of the dimensions of privacy, and since we are still undergoing software build, these concepts will be integrated from the beginning,” said Abou-Zeki. “The resources shared will be used throughout our operations to give direction on our policies and procedures, and to ensure we are continuously assessing the effectiveness of our systems.”
Following the sessions, each company will meet directly with the initiative leaders to assess business readiness and address any lingering gaps. Companies will then have the option of joining Brightsquid’s HaTCH accelerator program, and eventually integrating into the Alberta health system.
Imed Jouini, General Manager at Highway Innovation, plans to continue working on building company systems through the HaTCH program. Highway Innovation creates innovative solutions to respond to its customers’ needs across several sectors, including transportation, municipal services, and health technology. Jouini stated the training sessions “helped us identify several key issues that we knew had not yet been addressed, but did not really know how to start identifying exactly what they were.”
“The examples and resources used in this training session played an important role in helping our team put together the management security sheet. Other exercises helped us calculate the risk impact of key issues and prioritize the ones that we need to focus on first in order to bring forward our project,” Jouini added.
Mirroring the sentiment, Abou-Zeki said, “the sessions established a strong base of knowledge on privacy and security for our team.”
For more information on Brightsquid’s HaTCH program, visit https://brightsquid.com/pages/hatch
Learn about the companies involved:
Qualisure Diagnostics Inc. is a Precision Oncology company founded in Calgary, Alberta in 2017. Qualisure’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer treatment by developing precision diagnostic tools that refine the ability to select the best available treatments.
Appropriateness of care. It’s what we are all striving for. Appropriateness of care includes giving the right treatment to the right person at the right time. It’s good for patients, good for doctors, good for healthcare providers.
Highway Innovation Inc is an Alberta based Company Incorporated in 2017 to provide a custom solution services using innovative technology and to develop customized innovative solutions for our clients. Historically, we have worked on solutions in many fields, with an emphasis on transportation and municipal sectors. We have also worked in biosignals, on projects with medical devices.