UK healthcare communications startup CardMedic launches in US

The company has 800 pre-translated phrases for healthcare workers to communicate with patients

Dr Rachael Grimaldi, a licensed anaesthetist at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, was on maternity leave during the pandemic when she read an article about a patient who had been admitted to intensive care in the UK with COVID-19 room and was terrified of not being able to do it. t Get to know healthcare workers through their PPE.

she soon realizedBarriers to good communication in healthcare have been around for a long time, so while PPE is this barrier created by the pandemic, there are other barriers, including language-related barriers, as well as hearing impairment, blindness, cognitive problems, learning disabilities, Stroke, dementia and literacy problems.

“It collectively affects about 50 percent of the population. So, it’s huge, this group of patients suffers from huge health inequities, poor outcomes, they’re at higher risk of getting sick or dying, they’re spending more time in hospital , they have higher readmission rates. They also have worse outcomes, they have less adherence to their medications, they have more mental health problems. Plus, the size of the lawsuits is huge: 30% of lawsuits in the healthcare industry are due to healthcare miscommunication,” she told me in an interview.

The scope of the problem is to push CardMedicwhere she is now CEO: a digital health solution designed to improve communication between healthcare workers and patients through the use of digital flashcards.

On Tuesday, the company announced five new partnerships to cross the pond and expand into the U.S. market.

How CardMedic Works

CardMedic has created what Grimaldi calls an “A-to-Z library” of pre-written and pre-translated scripts that healthcare practitioners can select, display to patients on screen, and use to guide their conversations. Companies are doing the same, she explained, because there is a certain standardization of clinical practice, and the way doctors talk to patients is often repeated.

E.g, An anaesthetist or intensivist, who may need to explain the use of a ventilator to the patient; with CardMedica, they will follow a script on the app to explain it in English, using words such as “You’re not feeling well, you need some breathing assistance” or “We’re going to let You’re sleeping” and other phrases. They can then use the app to change those phrases into the language the patient speaks; if the patient can’t read, the doctor can have the app speak the sentence to them aloud, or if they’re hard of hearing, they can change it to Sign language video with subtitles below.

Of course, conversations don’t always follow pre-translated scripts, so Cardmedic also has a built-in Chat tool that allows doctors and patients to talk or type in different languages, enabling two-way communication.

Patients can also download the app on their devices, so they can bookmark phrases sent to them by doctors so they can appear in their library for them to show to family members or caregivers. There’s also a section called Patient Questions, for patients to choose frequently asked questions from staff, such as “What’s wrong with me?” or, “What did my test results show?”

To date, CardMedic ships with 800 scripts covering a range of specialties, all written by healthcare and allied healthcare professionals. It can currently translate these languages ​​into 20 languages, with another 10 in the pipeline.

The app has been around for about a year so far, during which time it has been downloaded by 20,000 patients and has 55,000 users in 120 countries. While the company is still collecting ROI on patient outcomes and how this translates into savings for the hospital, Grimaldi did share one statistic with me: At the start of the pandemic, the company conducted a service evaluation that looked at patients’ confidence in knowing healthcare workers through PPE. CardMetric shows that patients’ confidence in knowing employees increased by 28%, to a maximum of 95%.

expand to the US

To date, CardMedic has integrated its technology with 13 UK health systems through a partnership with the National Health Service. The company also received a Spot of Light Award from the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and thanked the company for its achievements in supporting healthcare workers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, now that it has entered the US, the company expects rapid growth with its new The market accounts for the largest share of its sales over the next five years.

CardMetric enters the country through five new partnerships, including Nor-Lea Hospital District, a critical access hospital in Lovington, NM, the first rural healthcare facility to deploy the CardMedic solution; it The app is being used on its 25-bed hospital website.

CardMedic is also partnering with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School’s second-largest teaching hospital, which is piloting a CardMedic solution to help its patients and hospital staff, and Texas Medical Center for innovative health technologies The accelerator program, which has listed CardMedic as one of the newest startups in its accelerator program.

Other partners include ScaleHealth, a health innovation ecosystem that accelerates the impact of health innovation on a global scale, and MassChallenge, an organization dedicated to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship through collaboration and development, which has invited CardMedic to join its HealthTech Accelerator.

In addition to Nor-Lea Hospital District and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the company is also considering a pilot with Penn State Health; hopefully in a year’s time the company will get more licenses and start growing at hospitals in the U.S., but as Grimaldi said, “In a focused way, we take lessons from working with other areas of the market, gather metrics that strengthen our value proposition, and our understanding of ROI, and then expand to the larger Academic Hospital.”

“We have global solutions to global problems, but some medical institutions do have good translation services and translation support. There are others, such as rural hospitals or FQHCs or smaller niche professional networks such as pediatrics, they The innovation that gets is less going in their direction. So for us, it’s looking at where we can add the most value in the U.S. market. It’s all about supporting underserved, underrepresented communities,” she says.

“For example, working with rural hospitals that don’t always have sufficient funding and resources to provide 24/7 interpreters, and with federally qualified health centers, who have had similar challenges with consistently having large numbers of interpreters, That’s where we really started to focus and also learn from the big academic hospitals.”

One thing the company doesn’t have to do is change the service for the US market, aside from minor language changes, such as changing ECG in the UK to EKG in the US.

“It’s more of nuance than broad overall content because it can be universally translated and accepted as a solution. The same is true in the UK and US, where you have translations in person, by phone and video, which It’s all the same practice. You have the sign language interpreter, the same speech and language therapist or pathologist, the learning disability nurse, all the clinical roles or communication support roles are the same. So it comes down more to the nuances of adjusting the content difference,” she said.

More than just financial returns

While CardMedic will clearly deliver a financial return, the company is looking at how to quantify this, and OT is considering the bigger picture of its impact on healthcare and the world.

This means making sure it has Having a positive social impact on a global scale, Grimaldi explained.

“We hope CardMedic can break down communication barriers, empower those underserved populations, put them at the heart of shared decision-making with clinicians, give them a voice, empower them, and improve overall health literacy for these underserved populations that suffer from communication challenges. A huge patient population who are struggling,” she said.

This means launching in developing countries, which the company will do through the foundation it is currently building Provides grants for women entrepreneurs and healthcare entrepreneurs in developing countries and funds the training of community health workers in refugee camps.The company has Already working with refugees in Kenya through StepUp.One, and it also had a team in Ukraine using the app during the war.

“Success is not just business success with X turnover with X number of thousand licenses, but also success in reaching vulnerable people globally who all need fair and accessible access in a way that they understand and make sense to them medical information, they can make the most of their healthcare interactions,” Grimaldi said.

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