Pharmacogenomics | Smart Health Innovation Lab

How Pharmacogenomics Fits Healthcare Workflows: Q&A with OneOme

In March 2019, OneOme joined us as the third company to participate in the Smart Health Innovation Lab’s Certification program. From the start, we recognized OneOme’s potential to leverage pharmacogenomics to reduce costs, decrease the burden on providers, improve population health, and create better patient experiences and outcomes.

Co-founded by Mayo Clinic, OneOme offers a pharmacogenomic (PGx) solution utilizing its RightMed® test, which analyzes a patient’s genes to help predict how certain medications may work for him or her. With this information, healthcare providers can make more informed prescription decisions, reducing the risk of adverse reactions and medication therapy failure.

Fast Company named OneOme one of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2018 (#2 in biotech; #22 overall), while Inc. declared it one of the five “biggest game-changing innovations in 2018.”

I spoke with OneOme’s Chief Technology Officer, Jason Ross, about what the company has been learning in the Innovation Lab and what’s next as they expand their overall RightMed solution to support PGx at the population level.

Why did OneOme choose to participate in the Smart Health Certification Program?

At the core, it offered a unique opportunity to understand the different perspectives of payor and provider organizations. The Smart Health Certification Program gave us unfettered access to experts with different backgrounds at various levels within insurers and health systems, allowing us to validate our assumptions about organization needs, optimal workflows and how to deliver value. Without this type of open collaborative environment, it would take six months to a year to gain the same level of knowledge and understanding that we’ll get here in 12 weeks.

As we evolve our offering beyond pharmacogenomic testing for individuals to a solution for the health of large populations, this perspective has been critical. One of our goals for the program was understanding how pharmacogenomics, in particular RightMed, can be applied as part of new payment models for value-based care. We wanted to know what tools and processes are needed to create an end-to-end solution that will work for payors and health systems. This program gave us the opportunity to do so.

What have you gained so far from working with the Innovation Lab?

Much of the learning so far has been about understanding how our RightMed solution can meet the needs of both providers and payors. It was eye-opening to learn how varied the success metrics for each group are. It’s raised some interesting questions: What is the appropriate workflow and who are the champions? How do we demonstrate value? How do we pilot our solution in a way that gets it closer to payors’ and providers’ ideal, operationalized workflows?

For instance, on the payor side, we’ve had several conversations about pricing. Traditionally, innovative products might not be covered by insurance, so how do we make coverage work so patients can access the benefits of PGx and payors feel they’re getting value out of it? Learning how payors think about policy management, policy development, and reimbursement has been hugely beneficial.

On the provider side, we wanted to know how a product like RightMed best fits within a health system. We’ve met with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (LG Health)’s pharmacy program, traditional healthcare program, and their ACO groups to figure out how RightMed can be applied at the population health level, as well as how to operationalize it.

How do you think this program will impact OneOme’s roadmap? What do you hope to gain after graduation?

We have spent our time thus far learning, testing, and validating assumptions, and we now have a better understanding of workflows and who the champions are for both payors and health systems. At the end of these 12 weeks, we aim to have proven our ability to operationalize RightMed for large populations and walk out with a clear value statement.

Our next step is taking what we’ve learned with Capital BlueCross and LG Health and applying those learnings to other similar healthcare systems and payors.

How do you hope to change healthcare for the better?

Right now, trial and error remains the predominant method for prescribing medications. Roughly half of prescribed medications don’t work as intended. Sometimes the therapy fails. Other times they cause new issues for patients. When that happens, we reach a point where prescription medication costs more in healthcare utilization than it saves.

With pharmacogenomics, we know a lot more about how the body and medications interact, especially in relation to medications for chronic disease. Knowing that we can do better — both in terms of helping patients get medications that are more likely to work for them and reducing the likelihood of harm through adverse reactions — was the impetus for OneOme.

Beyond the RightMed test, OneOme offers a clinical decision support tool that gives prescribers the information they need to help prescribe medications that are most likely to work well for their patients, based on individuals’ DNA. This not only helps patients get more personalized medications, it also stands to help address the estimated $200 billion the U.S. spends on unnecessary or inappropriate prescription drugs every year.

Making an Impact in Healthcare
I had an opportunity to discuss OneOme’s work in the Smart Health Innovation Lab’s Certification Program with Dr. Chambers, CMO for Capital BlueCross, and she summed it up perfectly: “The future of healthcare is being driven by innovative companies like OneOme. What they are bringing to healthcare through pharmacogenomics is incredibly promising. Their work will likely change the way medications are prescribed and lead to better health outcomes. We are thrilled to have OneOme as part of the Smart Health Certification Program and look forward to seeing them help to transform healthcare.”

The Smart Health Innovation Lab believes our continued work with innovative companies like OneOme offers great promise to the future of healthcare.

Knee Assessment | Smart Health Innovation Lab

A Conversation With Emovi About KneeKG and the Smart Health Certification Program

Earlier this year, the Montreal-based healthcare technology company Emovi began commercialization of their innovative, non-invasive knee assessment device KneeKG, which has the potential to revolutionize knee care and lower costs. With $5 million in capital raised thus far, Emovi (which stands for emotion, movement, and vision) aims to transform the complete knee care pathway to achieve better outcomes at lower costs. Since their pre-commercial launch of KneeKG, their device has already been used to assess thousands of patients in eight countries at facilities such as Hospital Cochin in France, Centre de Médecine Sportive de Laval in Canada, and Saxony Health Hospital in Indiana, USA. This year they joined the Smart Health Certification Program in June as an inaugural class member, and were selected as one of 50 companies featured in the 2018 MedTech Innovator showcase.

KneeKG is the first device that enables in-clinic, dynamic, 3D knee assessments of patients while they are in motion and in weight-bearing conditions. It provides kinematic information to doctors critical to identifying specific pathologic patterns and developing a focused treatment strategy to restore optimal knee function. Emovi says their device can result in a number of benefits, including reduced pain, recovery time, opioid intake, number of interventions and cost per patient.

We are thrilled to have Emovi as an inaugural class member of the Smart Health Certification Program. We believe KneeKG could have a big impact in orthopedics, pain management, and preventative care, and we’ve been working closely with the Emovi team to overcome the challenges associated with integrating into a major health system and gaining insurance reimbursement.

We recently sat down with the Emovi team to discuss their experiences at the Smart Health Innovation Lab.

Why did your company choose to participate in the Smart Health Certification Program?

The Smart Health Certification Program is totally unique and probably the only program that creates a fast-track to clinical adoption and integration. To us, that was an extremely valuable proposition that we couldn’t pass up.

What have you gained so far from working with the Innovation Lab?

Working with the Smart Health Innovation Lab has helped us address some critical components needed to scale the deployment of KneeKG. They helped us uncover and overcome some HIPAA compliance challenges, assisted us with EHR integration, and introduced us to an expansive network of solid contacts.

How do you think this program will impact your company’s roadmap? What do you hope to gain after graduation?

In addition to achieving privacy compliance and EHR integration, the Smart Health Innovation Lab is providing validation of our product offering, workflow, and value. The integration blueprint that is being developed in concert with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and Capital BlueCross will help us replicate the integration process into other health systems and insurance reimbursement models, ultimately helping us scale our business.

What makes our program unique?

Not only does the program create a fast track to clinical adoption and integration, but it is also full of dynamic, capable and motivated people who have rolled up their sleeves to help us accelerate our path to market adoption.

How do you hope to change healthcare for the better? Do you think the Innovation Lab can help other companies make a positive change in healthcare?

We anticipate transforming knee care in the United States and the rest of the world. KneeKG can make a big impact on healthcare by addressing the Quadruple Aim – positively affecting patient experiences and outcomes, improving provider satisfaction, improving population health and reducing costs. We believe the Innovation Lab’s guidance and validation will positively influence the future of medical devices, by helping transformative companies like Emovi and NeuroFlow gain a stronger foothold in the market.

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Emovi will celebrate their graduation from the Smart Health Certification Program, along with NeuroFlow, on October 4, 2018. We have been honored to work with such innovative companies for our inaugural class, and we believe both companies are positioned to make a positive impact on care. Our next Smart Health Certification Program will begin in January, 2019.

At the Smart Health Innovation Lab, we aim to inspire innovation in everything we do.

Q&A: A Conversation With NeuroFlow About Smart Health Certification

Founded in 2016 in Philadelphia, Pa., NeuroFlow is poised to make a big impact on healthcare. The company acquired its first paying client during the beta-testing phase of its product in August 2017, and raised $1.25 million in institutional capital by October. It launched its first commercial, fully-operational product in March 2018, joined the Smart Health Certification Program in June, and reached 100 paying clients in four countries shortly thereafter. NeuroFlow has won a variety of awards, including Psych Congress’ Best New Technology 2018, Philadelphia magazine’s 10 Startups to Watch 2018, Philly’s realLIST 2018 of top start-ups, and MedTech Boston’s top 5 mental health technology companies.

NeuroFlow’s HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based software platforms empower healthcare providers to objectively assess, track, and engage patients using evidence-based practices to support their mental health remotely, throughout all of therapy, not just during clinical visits; the platforms also empower patients to be accountable for their improvement and engagement in the therapy process, which is paramount for successful outcomes. Their suite of tools enables remote monitoring and behavioral health integration across the continuum of care, including psychology, primary care, and pain management settings. EngageBH assists behavioral health specialists in enhancing evidence-based therapies, improving engagement and compliance with therapy assignments; and IntegrateHealth seamlessly integrates behavioral health assessments and tracking into primary care and pain management settings. Combined, NeuroFlow’s platforms not only help clinicians and providers save costs, but also — more importantly — they help patients feel better.

We are proud to have NeuroFlow as a member of our inaugural class in the Smart Health Certification Program. We see broad potential applications for their technology, and we’re helping them build a blueprint for integrating into health systems to gain enterprise-level customers. We’re also facilitating critical conversations around insurance reimbursement that could offer NeuroFlow a major advantage in the future.

We recently sat down with Adam Pardes, COO of NeuroFlow to discuss their involvement in the Lab.

What is NeuroFlow’s core mission?

Healthcare providers are our heroes. They’re responsible for helping those who need it most, which can be a tough challenge when patients struggle with mental health conditions, often resulting in poor engagement, motivation, and treatment compliance.

NeuroFlow’s mission is to be a resource and asset to healthcare providers in their tireless pursuit to help patients feel better faster.

Why did your company choose to participate in the Smart Health Certification Program?

The program set us on a collision course with two vital aspects of the healthcare ecosystem: payors and providers. The Smart Health Innovation Lab is a collaborative environment where our technology has been able to make an immediate impact. We felt we had scaled our technology to be effective in a large-scale healthcare provider, and here we are today, in over 100 clinics and hospitals with thousands of patients using the platform.

What have you gained so far from working with the Innovation Lab?

This has been an invaluable experience for all of us working at NeuroFlow. To be able to tinker and tailor our product with real-time feedback from clinical professionals has given us the greenlight on future opportunities at major healthcare providers. We knew our product was capable of supporting clinical decision making, but this has been further validation, and more importantly, evidence that it could work in large health systems. We have been given several pathways to success, with doors opened by members of the Smart Health Innovation Lab ecosystem.

How do you think this program will impact your company’s roadmap? What do you hope to gain after graduation?

NeuroFlow grew 183% in the two quarters preceding the program. During the summer months, in the midst of the program, the company experienced 700% growth and has several more large hospital systems inquiring about using NeuroFlow’s unique and powerful tools with their providers and their patients. The program helped validate our product’s usability at scale in a large health system, and has thus accelerated our company’s growth and expansion. We will be making several key hires on the product side before the end of 2018. By adding new features and making it interoperable with major EHRs, we’re poised to make an even bigger impact with more patients and providers at large systems like Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital.

What makes our program unique?

The physical lab environment created is truly comprehensive — from the workstations to the product demo rooms built to replicate a hospital or clinical therapy setting. We have not seen anything like it, and it has been an opportunity to debut our software across the healthcare spectrum with leading experts in each discipline serving as a focus group. It has been a great second office to call a home away from our home in Center City Philadelphia.

How do you hope to change healthcare for the better? Do you think the Innovation Lab can help other companies make a positive change in healthcare?

Far too many people struggle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Millions of Americans are diagnosed but never seek treatment, or do so but find it to be ineffective. The good news is that there are evidence based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), that are proven to work and be effective — there’s hope. These do not have to be chronic conditions. The challenge is that they work predicated on the patient’s engagement, compliance, and willingness to be an owner of the process. We believe NeuroFlow can help this and integrate behavioral health into the primary healthcare conversation.

With the resources, expertise, and access available as virtue of the Smart Health Innovation Lab, the program has helped prove that new, innovative technologies can deliver value to large health systems. We wholeheartedly recommend the program to other healthcare technology start-ups at similar stages of growth. It will serve as a learning experience and creative environment to try new things and to scale your ability to meet your company’s mission.

Photos: Smart Health Innovation Lab Friends and Family Night

Photos: Smart Health Innovation Lab Friends and Family Night

At the Smart Health Innovation Lab, we aim to inspire innovation in everything we do. That means we not only plan to advance the most cutting-edge technologies to transform healthcare, we also want to provide a space in the community that will foster collaboration, promote the sharing of ideas, and spark the imagination in all kinds of people.

In that spirit, we invited friends and family of the lab, along with their children, to visit our facilities and learn more about what we do. Families took tours, spoke with key people at the lab, and kids participated a variety of fun and educational activities. Who knows, maybe we helped to spur a new generation of healthcare innovators. If nothing more, it made for some great photos.

Video: the Beginning of Smart Health Innovation Lab

Video: The Beginning of Smart Health Innovation Lab

The Smart Health Innovation Lab is now open and our certification program is underway! We’re bringing together healthcare providers, insurers, and entrepreneurs to help advance innovative technologies that will transform care. At the lab, startups in our certification program are gaining unprecedented access to doctors, healthcare administrators, and specialists to help them integrate their technologies into large health systems and navigate insurer reimbursement.

We’re not the only ones excited about the lab, our opening drew headlines regionally and nationally, and the event itself drew excitement from healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs across the state and beyond. Watch the video of the opening here!