IU-based startup commercializes software to improve quality of care for pediatric patients

PR Newswire — February 6, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Two members of the Indiana
University School of Medicine have launched a startup to commercialize software
targeting improvement in pediatric patient care.

The promise of information technology has been to improve quality, cut costs and
increase patient satisfaction. By themselves, electronic health records, or
EHRs, have failed to achieve those aims. Software that adds functionality to
EHRs can assess patient risks, help physicians identify problems earlier and
better document care quality. The result is earlier detection and treatment of
problems and better health outcomes for children.

Dr. Stephen Downs, president, and Tammy Dugan, chief technology officer, founded
Digital Health Solutions LLC. The company’s first software product is CHICA, or
Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation. Dugan said the mission
behind starting Digital Health Solutions was to make the software available
beyond Indianapolis to improve the quality of care of children nationwide.

“It’s a population that doesn’t get as much attention because of the
reimbursement structures in hospitals,” Dugan said. “We have a great piece of
software, and we have had a lot of interest from people over the years. We want
to get it out there so kids can benefit from it.

“CHICA has been in use at Eskenazi Hospital clinics for over a dozen years for
more than 50,000 visits,” she said. “It is mature, production-level software.”

Downs said health care providers, including pediatricians, struggle with
managing the thousands of primary care guidelines and recommendations for each
patient visit.

“CHICA addresses this challenge by screening families in the waiting room,” he
said. “Families receive an electronic tablet upon arrival that asks 20
questions. Based on the family’s responses, the software uses its prioritization
process to select the most important issues for the physician to address during
the visit. The family can provide information on a wide range of topics,
including general preventive counseling, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder, autism, domestic violence, iron deficiency, lead exposure, maternal
depression, tuberculosis and more. It also allows physicians to alert patients
to problems that may otherwise be overlooked.”

“The integration is intuitive and requires little provider training,” Dugan
said. “When doctors access a patient’s electronic health record, or EHR, an
embedded link allows them to visit CHICA. Once the doctors have checked all the
boxes, indicating how they responded to the alerts, the information is submitted
as a block of text to EHR software that can then be incorporated into the
provider’s note, thereby streamlining clinical documentation.”

“The underlying technology for CHICA can also be adapted for adult or specialty
care areas,” Downs said. “We are currently working to develop a new module for
gastrointestinal specialists.”

Along with improving patient quality of care, CHICA offers other benefits for
health care providers.

“Payers of health care are looking for ways for providers to demonstrate
superior-quality care,” Downs said. “The system captures data that improves and
demonstrates the quality of care, which could be used to improve reimbursement.
It also collects patient-reported information that can’t be captured any other
way. My colleagues and I have conducted a number of research studies using the
data.

“At various scientific meetings, I am routinely asked, ‘How do we get CHICA?’
Tammy and I launched Digital Health Solutions as a mechanism to distribute it to
anyone who wants it.”

Digital Health Solutions LLC licensed CHICA through the Indiana University
Research and Technology Corp., which protects, markets and licenses intellectual
property developed at Indiana University so it can be commercialized by
industry. The company is also a member of IURTC’s Spin Up entrepreneurial
program.

About Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.

IURTC is a not-for-profit corporation tasked with the protecting and
commercializing of technology emanating from innovations by IU researchers.
Since 1997, IU research has generated more than 2,700 inventions resulting in
more than 4,100 global patent applications being filed by IURTC. These
discoveries have generated more than $135 million in licensing and royalty
income, including more than $112 million in funding for IU departments, labs and
inventors.

Media Contact: Steve Martin, IU Communications, 317-278-1505, stgmart@iu.edu

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SOURCE IU Communications

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