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Doctors are drowning in data. Herald Health can help.

by Brad Diephuis, MD, MBA

Helping physicians to solve the data overload problem by delivering clinical information in real time exactly when and how it's needed.

Cambridge, MA Health Information Technology

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About this project

The problem we solve:
Rapid adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) has been a double-edged sword: while EMRs offer great promise, providers face the daunting task of monitoring these data in a “pull” model. They spend 12% of their time retrieving data—the same amount of time spent seeing patients. Critical data is often missed, causing avoidable harm and treatment delays for patients, contributing to over 200,000 deaths each year and $20 Billion in uncompensated care attributable to medical errors.

About our solution:
Herald delivers critical medical information providers need ­when and how they want it. It empowers clinicians to customize alerts based on real­time data from the EMR, transforming the current “pull” model into a “push” model. This saves providers time and allows them to filter for data important to improving patient outcomes. Protocols are constructed within seconds via an intuitive web interface. They may be rated and shared among providers allowing for crowd-sourcing of best practices.
Progress to date: The Herald team came together last fall. We organized several focus groups among doctors, and then conducted visits to outpatient and inpatient settings to develop use cases and learn more about clinician needs. In November, we competed in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Hackathon, where we developed our first prototype of the product and won the competition. We have since successfully negotiated the terms of a pilot with a major Boston academic medical center, which will commence on June 20th. In preparation we have developed our prototype into full working version. We have also participated in a number of local competitions. We were the grand prize winner of the Harvard Deans' Health & Life Sciences Challenge. We were finalists in the MIT Sloan Healthcare Case Competition and were semi-finalists in the MIT 100K Accelerate Challenge. We were also selected into the Harvard Business School Rock Accelerator and the Harvard innovation lab’s Venture Incubation Program.

About Our Team

Dr. Brad Diephuis, MD, MBA
Clinical Informatics (Internal Medicine), Resident
Location: Massachusetts
Medical school: Harvard Medical School
Bio: Brad Diephuis is a Harvard MD/MBA student with a background in computer science who will be starting his residency in Primary Care and Population Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in June. As CEO, Brad’s background in clinical medicine, technology and business allow him to coordinate across domains necessary for Herald’s success.
Hospital Affiliation: Brigham and Women's Hospital
Title: CEO and Co-Founder

About Team Members

Craig Monsen
Co-Founder, MD
Biography: Craig Monsen is a health tech entrepreneur (check out ) and clinical resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He holds a medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He leads product development and has both the design background and real­-world clinical experience to make Herald a joy for clinicians to use.
Andrew Hillis
Co-Founder, PhD Candidate
Biography: Andrew Hillis is a Harvard PhD candidate in health care economics and leads our efforts to develop robust analytics. He is also overseeing Herald's pilot at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Matt Fujisawa
Co-Founder, MBA
Biography: Leading our business efforts, Matt is a Harvard MBA student who spent 5 years working in corporate strategy for one of the nation’s largest health systems with extensive insight into the process of selling to hospital systems.

About Our Company

Herald Health
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Twitter: @heraldhealthinc
Product stage: proto
Sales: Working on it
Employees: 3-5

How We Help Patients

Herald can make a positive impact on quality and patient safety. Many adverse test results come back silently in the electronic medical record, and Herald can help to significantly reduce treatment delays and help clinicians to intervene more quickly. At the same time, many healthy patients are waiting for a negative test result to come back before they can be discharged. Herald will help to alert clinical staff as soon as a patient can be cleared to leave the hospital, which will lower the time those patients are susceptible to hospital acquired conditions and boost efficiency and patient satisfaction.

How We Help Physicians

Herald can deliver efficiency improvements to physicians, which will result in increased productivity and satisfaction. Physicians currently spend about 12% of their time reviewing test results and records--roughly the same amount of time spent face-to-face with patients! Much of this time is spent on manual, tedious, repetitious "pulls" from the EMR. Doctors often handwrite to-do lists to check for test results. Herald will significantly reduce the 12% by delivering exactly the right clinical information in real-time.

Challenge Mission

Mission: We believe that Herald is unique in empowering physicians on the front lines to create, customize and crowd-source their own protocols to improve care delivery.
Use of funds: During the course of our upcoming pilot, we hope to engage in rigorous data gathering on usage and performance, as well as provider feedback and engagement. Providing hands-on training, support, and user interviews will be a costly (but extremely useful) proposition. As we continue to build out the product from the pilot version, we will include more sophisticated uses of that data drawing on more data sources (e.g. wearables) and machine learning (e.g., a risk score for hospital-acquired infection). These expanded use cases will require additional development efforts.
Intellectual Property Status: None (Herald is exclusively a software platform)
Patent Link: N/A
FDA Status: N/A
Personal Message: Adoption of EMRs has been widespread, but over half of doctors "dislike" or "strongly dislike" these systems, because they are designed to optimize billing rather than the physician experience. The enormous potential of health care IT solutions will only be unlocked when physicians are much more engaged and genuinely feel that the product they are using makes them more efficient, effective providers. No one has developed a great end-user experience in this space; Herald will change that.


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    05/19/2016 Julia Wilkens - Other

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Brad Diephuis, MD, MBA
CEO and Co-Founder
Harvard Medical School

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