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A novel use of web-based software to efficiently triage pre-surgical patients…

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: A novel use of web-based software to efficiently triage pre-surgical patients bas
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R44RR030694-01
Award Amount: $393,737.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This is a Fast-Track application to develop a web-based, patient-centered software product that accurately assesses a patient's perioperative risk as a means of improving quality of care and reducing costs. App roximately 40 million surgical procedures are performed annually in the United States [1]. To ensure the safety of patients undergoing these procedures, it is imperative to identify and mitigate perioperative risk. Unfortunately, the process used by most h ospitals and surgical centers to evaluate pre-surgical patients falls short on two fronts. One is a failure to identify risk factors in a timely fashion, as most preoperative evaluations occur the day before or day of surgery. The second is a failure to pr operly identify risk factors due to incomplete or inaccurate preoperative evaluations. These shortcomings increase morbidity and mortality, increase healthcare cost, and lower patient satisfaction. Therefore, a standardized preoperative assessment delivere d in a timely fashion is needed. To address this need, we (MedSleuth, Inc.) have developed web-based software that utilizes a patent- pending algorithm to generate a customized patient survey, based on the patient's medication profile and successiv e responses to the survey. The survey output takes the form of a comprehensive medical history, triages patients based on health status, and provides the patient-specific information required by healthcare providers to identify and mitigate perioperative r isk. Conservatively, it is estimated 10 billion could be saved annually (~25% of total spend) through our approach, with similarly sizable improvements in quality and satisfaction. Our Phase I study will evaluate proof of concept for the first-gen eration software with one collaborating hospital system (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School) over the course of a six- month period. Phase I will seek to prove (1) patients can successfully complete the web-based survey; (2) the output generated by the survey is accurate, comprehensive and relevant for making informed clinical decisions; (3) our assessment algorithm is equivalent or superior to the status quo in identifying perioperative risk; (4) patients and healthcare providers report high levels of satisfaction; and (5) preoperative evaluation costs can be substantially reduced. In Phase II we will incorporate patient and healthcare provider feedback from Phase I to develop the more robust second-generation version of the web- based software. We will in turn test this second- generation software on a much larger patient population across multiple surgical sites to verify clinical accuracy and completeness, cost savings, and increased satisfaction. At the conclusion of Phase II, we expect to have a market ready product with documented outcomes. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: A need exists for a system that can efficiently and effectively triage patients based on perioperative risk, thereby focusing resources on those patients wit h complex medical problems while improving quality and satisfaction for all. We (MedSleuth, Inc.) have developed a first-generation web-based patient- centric software product that standardizes and streamlines the way a patient's medical history is elicite d and recorded. This is accomplished by applying patent-pending machine learning technology to tailor a real-time survey based on each patient's medication profile and successive responses during the survey. We hypothesize that (1) patients can successfull y complete the web-based survey on their own; (2) clinicians find the output of the survey relevant, accurate, and superior to current methods for making informed clinical decisions related to the surgical procedure; (3) patients and healthcare providers r eport high levels of satisfaction with the survey; (4) quality of care is improved; and (5) costs are reduced.

Principal Investigator:

Alicia G. Kalamas

Business Contact:
Small Business Information at Submission:


EIN/Tax ID: 126339253
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No