Continuous non-invasive medical remote patient monitoring solutions are set up to disrupt health systems and overall care workflow at home and in hospitals. Leveraging technology enhances the effectiveness of personalized medical care, leading to major differences in health outcomes and reduction of health costs. We talked with Dr. Eisenkraft, Chief Medical Officer of Biobeat, a global med-tech company leading the medical grade RPM space with five vital signs cleared by FDA, about their business model and what makes them stand out from companies, like Apple & Google, use cases and interesting partnerships with Pharma, CROs and medical centres/hospitals, as well as how Biobeat kits and platform were used in Ukraine in several operations and in critical decisions about evacuation or adjusting treatments of patients with congestive heart failure.
Connected digital health solutions – smart wearables, tracking sensors and RPM platforms have started a new era of value-based care with user-generated data being the core of patient-centered business models. Continuous non-invasive supervising of vital signs and other significant physiological parameters of the patient in the hospital and at home via advanced sensing and medical remote monitoring devices provides accurate, real-time tailored patient data to care teams. It can act as an early-warning digital solution that allows healthcare providers to detect, measure and record signs of a disease before a patient even feels any symptoms or prevent deterioration of a health condition. Transforming the care from reactive to preventive can lead to better population outcomes and significantly improve daily moments of people.
Medical remote patient monitoring can flag if the treatment is not the right and needs an adjustment in the dose or the pill to be changed. It allows patients to get a vital continuum of care to feel better while surrounded by loved ones at home, thus not only enhancing patient experience, but significantly reducing the high-cost hospital care.
For years, virtual care and in general healthcare have attracted Big Tech companies. Apple, Google, Amazon & Samsung, to name a few, have ventured into the space with smart home communication devices, smart wearables and biosensors determinedly pushing into some classical medical applications to improve personal health. And yet, the companies are mostly seen as big players in the wellness and lifestyle space, not medical one!
What makes Biobeat so unique and how does the company look at these big and powerful market players? Can key healthcare stakeholders really rely on their devices when it comes to medical diagnoses and treatments?
Recently, in a candid conversation with Dr. Eisenkraft, Chief Medical Officer of Biobeat, we learned how they differentiate themselves from Big Tech and the key role these companies play for our basic well-being and health lifestyle choices, Biobeat’s value proposition to different healthcare stakeholders from hospital and medical centers to Pharma, CROs and insurers, as well as the trends in the advanced medical remote patient monitoring area.
Enjoy the interview!
Research2Guidance: Congratulations on another FDA clearance, making the Biobeat device and platform the only remote patient monitoring solution that provides cuffless blood pressure, pulse rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate and body temperature. What does this mean to you from a commercial perspective?
Dr. Eisenkraft: Thank you. With a total of five vital signs cleared by FDA, Biobeat is leading the medical grade remote patient monitoring space.
At present, the US is our primary market and when you look around on all other market players, each has a single or two to max three parameters that are relevant and needed by nurses to collect. This means that they must use more than one device in order to complete the five basic parameters.
Today, we are excited to offer to healthcare teams a chest-monitor or wrist-monitor that each is able to automatically measure 13 vital signs all continuously, wirelessly and in real time.
The average hospitalization time is a bit more than four days, and our device works for up to six days, so it covers in most of the cases the full hospitalization window and all the nurse needs to do is to attach the device to the patient. That is all. We are able to collect millions of data-points per patient per day. The data is automatically collected, everything is transmitted into the EMR if the care team wishes such integration, so it really changes the way monitoring is provided. All measurements and trends can be viewed through our Web Platform, allowing the management of an unlimited number of patients through one intuitive platform. This is a great deal because now it really changes the overall care workflow.
One thing is important to note, we do not aim our products at the intensive care unit. They are well equipped, and they have everything they need. In many cases they prefer invasive measurements even though I think that in the future we will be able to replace at least part of the cases for some of these patients, but we are not focusing there. Our focus is on the general flow in all the wards and units where you want and need to monitor patients more than what it is done now.
Our solution is outstanding, and this extra FDA clearance will support us in increasing our market presence.
Research2Guidance: What do you think about Big Tech companies entering different Healthcare segments?
Dr. Eisenkraft: In my opinion, the fact that you can monitor millions of people around the world, not necessarily patients, is powerful. Big Tech companies have the resources to do that, and they are doing an amazing job. I find this is great and everyone can benefit from solutions that help us improve our plain well-being and lead us to make better lifestyle choices.
When it comes to healthcare, we have a regulatory aspect. Since we have a medical grade device, we must be aligned strictly with all the regulatory requirements. They don’t and this makes things easier for them.
On the other hand, at present, large Pharma companies, CROs and medical facilities, hospitals and so on can’t really rely on them.
Speaking about medical data, for example, if there are changes in vital signs below or above the predefined and customized thresholds, our system, backed with an AI engine and supportive data, provides an alert and an early warning score for the medical staff observation and preventive treatment.
I would say, at this point, we and Big Tech companies are simply looking at different aspects of the health system.
They are looking more at wellness, and we are focusing on the medical grade devices in the hospitals and at home. I believe there could be an amazing interaction in the future between us, if they really want to move forward and devices like ours can provide data that they can benefit from.
Research2Guidance: Having changes in a health condition being seen by care teams even when people do not feel a big difference on the surface can make a difference to someone’s life. Last time we spoke your business model was B2B.
Dr. Eisenkraft: Yes, our focus and business are still in the B2B space.
Our non-invasive wireless wearable devices are aimed at healthcare market players (hospitals, large medical centres and chains of hospitals, Health Maintenance Organizations, Pharma, CROs, health insurance companies and research institutes) that need to monitor patients either in hospitals or at home, whether because they were discharged early from hospital, are chronically ill, elderly living alone at home or patients who opt for home-hospitalization.
Happy to share that we have more and more B2B clients, and more healthcare stakeholders are interested in what we have to offer. B2C is a different landscape and if you think about it most of the people don’t know exactly what to do with their vital signs data.
Research2Guidance: Yes, when it comes to a medical device having the data alone without being able to understand it or interpret it, won’t be very useful for a patient. What is your value proposition today?
Dr. Eisenkraft: Our main focus is monitoring patients wherever they are. At present, we see a trend moving more towards hospital at home or home hospitalization. This is a huge sector in which we can really provide disruption.
If you look at the components of a home hospitalization – first you need to take the anamneses from patients and there are very good tools on the market for that, then you need to examine patients with all kinds of great devices and then you need to monitor patients when nurses or physicians are not near, and this was the main gap.
Care teams used to send devices to patients’ homes so they will take their own vitals. However, this resulted in low compliance rates by patients, and usually after a day or two nurses had to visit the patient to take vitals. This is expensive, the burden of work is too much, and the load is too high. What today Biobeat offers completes this monitoring gap and it allows you to have a full 3 pillars of hospital at home.
Research2Guidance: Can you share some use cases or interesting partnerships that you have entered?
Dr. Eisenkraft: Sure. We have several international Pharma companies that are using our monitoring devices in their clinical studies over and over again to better understand the effect of their drugs on the user and to make sure that the medication they provide helps as it intends to – both in terms of safety and efficacy. Because we are regulatory cleared, some of the companies have already integrated the vital signs that we have collected in the packages that they submit to the regulators. And this is a very strong statement that shows the value we add to them.
There are various studies whether it is related to cardiovascular diseases, managing hypertension, congestive heart failure, or even oncology patients, especially if one thinks about the advance of biological treatments that might lead to sepsis and cytokine release syndrome, for example. By using our monitoring platform one can get early notification of a risk of a patient to deteriorate. So, these are the main sections today that our devices are being used by large Pharma companies and CROs.
If you look at the medical centres and hospitals, again for the first time, 95% of patients can be monitored in the general workflow, outside the ICU, thanks to our products. The relevant and accurate data gathered and transmitted to a patient’s medical record, can be a strong decision support tool to physicians and nurses when they have to decide on a treatment or operation or whether the patient could be discharged from the hospital.
We have collaborations with various outpatient clinics, so patients do not have to be hospitalized to be properly monitored. Noteworthy to share that besides the five FDA cleared parameters, we also have others more advanced cardiovascular parameters that are already CE cleared and have CE Mark.
This is especially important in elderly with comorbidities like congestive heart failure and hypertension, so now care teams can monitor them while they are at home or when they have changed their medication and it is important to have real-time data from daily moments.
All these cases are about everyday real moments, not about research conducted in a controlled environment.
Research2Guidance: Speaking about real moments, many healthcare stakeholders offer their services and products for free to support health workers in Ukraine to continue to provide care to meet instant health needs, but also to help people in Ukraine and refugees to improve their health outcomes. Can you please share a bit about your experience?
Dr. Eisenkraft: We were approached by the Sheba Medical Center and by several emergency response organizations in Israel that were heading to the Ukraine. They were looking for various technologies that will help them monitor patients while they are in Ukraine.
We provided them with several kits that they were able to test on the ground. By using Biobeat devices local healthcare providers were able to see vital signs of their patients and treat them, but also data was transmitted to Israel, so experts could provide their expert opinion to the care team in Ukraine. It was a highly interactive experience that helped in several operations and even in critical decisions about evacuation or adjusting treatments, for example, of patients with congestive heart failure.
Later when Israel sent a field hospital to the Ukraine one of the technologies that was used there was again the Biobeat platform, as our devices showed great quality in connectivity and transmission of the real time accurate data and a valuable asset in supporting patients and delivering care in time they needed most.
Since then and until now our platform has been used on various patients in different circumstances.
There was one specific case of a patient that wanted to go back to her home as she forgot some things, but she suffered from a severe congestive heart failure and the only way to allow her to go home was by attaching the Biobeat chest patch to her, so physicians could remotely monitor her in real time, making sure she is stable while outside the hospital. So again, doing things that were hardly ever thinkable and now they are reality.
We are very excited about that and happy that we could help in achieving that.
Research2Guidance: Huge respect for that. Your main market is the US, in which European markets are you present today? What is your market entry channel?
Dr. Eisenkraft: At present, we are working with five distributors in Europe, who cover Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Nordic countries and Italy.
These external partners know their local markets better than us, they know the culture, the mentality and the regulations and they are responsible to sell our devices to any healthcare organization that they are working with.
We also have a strong position in Israel, where we are already selling our devices in several hospitals, including Sheba Beyond, which is the first hospital in Israel that provides end to end hospital at home services.
Research2Guidance: Do you see yourself as a key player in preventive care?
Dr. Eisenkraft: A wonderful question. Without doubt, we see ourselves in this space. This is the major thing we are focusing on – transforming the care from being reactive to being preventive.
When it comes to congestive heart failure, for example, we already show that by using our devices one can predict who will benefit from a specific therapy and who will not, so physicians can adjust the treatment. This leads to personalized medicine, and this is exactly where we can help medical facilities.
In many congestive heart failure clinical studies scales are used to weight patients, and we explain that by monitoring these patients with our devices the team will know in advance that they are starting to deteriorate before they will gain weight. This is a prevention, and this data alone can have a huge positive impact on quality of life and health outcomes.
This is true also for hypertension, COPD, for oncology. So, if patients get chemotherapy and we monitor them continuously, we can see changes before they have full blown complications like developing severe infections that can lead to sepsis.
This is exactly the direction we are moving to, and I believe that we can transform this space.
Research2Guidance: What trends do you see in the advanced medical remote patient monitoring area?
Dr. Eisenkraft: We see that more and more centres prefer to keep the patients at home and patients are also happy with being surrounded by family in a familiar environment while taking care of their disease. This arrangement reduces the healthcare cost, but to have a real health outcome, the care team needs to monitor patients on a daily basis and have access to real time patient vital signs.
There are a lot of studies showing that recovery and rehabilitation is improved faster when it is done at home. Adding our devices to these kinds of hospital at home programs will enhance the benefit. I believe as time goes by, we will see more and more interest in our devices within home hospitalization. This is why, for example, we are visiting different conferences, like the American Telemedicine Association conference, to show what we can provide as a support. And yes, this is one of the areas that we see large traction and increase in demand.
Research2Guidance: On May 2nd Biobeat won the category of “Tools That Deliver Care” at ATA. Congratulations.
Dr. Eisenkraft: Thank you.
The last two and a half years were really challenging for us, but we managed to show that what we offer is not a nice marketing package, but we really provide medical grade high quality monitoring that allows healthcare providers to do things that they could only imagine in the past.
At present, we know that the workload on nurses is so high and the percentage of care providers that are leaving this important work simply because they are overwhelmed is increasing. Biobeat solution can be of great assistance and can allow care teams to focus really on the patient leaving the monitoring to us. We really disrupt the way healthcare is delivered and this award is another recognition for that.
Research2Guidance: What is ahead of Biobeat?
Dr. Eisenkraft: I think our focus will be on bringing more investors that will help us enlarge the scope of the production, to enter new markets and in our key market US reinforce our leading brand with different initiatives in the medical grade remote patient monitoring space. It would be great to also open Biobeat offices there and be closer to key healthcare stakeholders.
Our team is also developing another platform specifically for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. At this time, a lot of people suffer from hypertension, and they are not aware of that or if they know they suffer from it, they might not understand the importance of treating it. Our device provides a comfortable user experience for the patients, and without feeling it all the measurements are being taken and immediately after the test is completed the physician receives a report that informs him / her whether you have hypertension. And if so, the treatment will start and, in a few weeks, one can repeat the test and adjustments can be made based on objective insights.
We believe that this will change and enhance the efforts to combat hypertension. This is another example of a kit that could be used either by Pharma companies in their studies and / or also by physicians and clinics no matter where patients are.
The Biobeat team is excited for what is in front of us in terms of opportunity and the role we can play to disrupt certain aspects in healthcare.
Research2Guidance: Dr. Eisenkraft, thank you very much for this great and inspiring conversation. We wish you and your team to stay healthy and have a lot of success.
Biobeat is a med-tech company with unique health-AI capabilities in the patient monitoring space. The company’s remote patient monitoring (RPM) health-AI platform includes a disposable short-term chest-monitor and a long-term wrist-monitor, both of which utilize a photoplethysmography-based (PPG) sensor to continuously provide accurate patient readings of 13 health parameters, including cuffless blood pressure, pulse rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, temperature, stroke volume, cardiac output, and more. Aggregated patient health data is viewed by medical staff via Biobeat’s secured HIPAA- and GDPR-compliant cloud-based patient management platform, which includes an automated real-time early warning score (EWS) system that incorporates advanced AI-based algorithms to provide alerts on patient health status and the potential risk of deterioration. Biobeat’s wearable devices are the first devices to be FDA-cleared for PPG-based cuffless non-invasive blood pressure monitoring and are also CE Mark certified.