On a Mission to Modernize the Medical Device Market
The medical device market is ripe for change…how can emerging information technology help?
The Healthcare Problem
Despite major advances and breakthroughs in medicine, information systems in the healthcare industry remain antiquated — they are centralized and siloed, at the very least. Health data is recorded in different, often incompatible places — on paper or in an electronic system of record, on premises or in the cloud — ruling out the chance to have a consistent and real-time view of a patient’s medical history. The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) has done little — if anything — to resolve this fragmentation, where healthcare providers and organizations keep their own records with negligible exchange between them. [Estonia’s healthcare system is definitely an exception here. With its 1.3 million citizens, Estonia is possibly the most advanced digital nation in the world, which may serve as a great example of what digitization can achieve at a country level.]
Today’s healthcare ecosystem — in most places — is made up of many intermediaries that make the entire system inefficient and prone to errors. The lack of appropriate collaboration and interoperability of tools and practices, has an unfavorable downstream effect on patients. The current pandemic has again highlighted the need for technologies that help improve trust in health data and other assets such as medical devices and supplies, as well as multiparty transactions, and boost supply-chain efficiency and resilience in the healthcare market.
The Medical Device Industry
Medical device procurement and all the logistics involved are areas that are ripe for disruption. The US medical device market, in particular — forecasted to reach a value of US$ 160 billion by 2026 — still operates in large part by way of manual transactions — e.g. via fax, email or phone. This modus operandi is not only costly and inefficient, but also leaves much to be desired in terms of information security, regulatory compliance, and ultimately patient safety. Just imagine not having the right implant available at the right time for a life-saving surgery.
In the US, reportedly, about half of hospital revenues come from surgical procedures. Healthcare facilities offering surgical services need a wide variety of medical devices and supplies to be able to provide and deliver patient care. Today, the logistics around device procurement is primarily handled by the device vendors and their local representatives, despite patient liability falling on the shoulders of healthcare facilities.
Having the ability to track medical devices and supplies from their origin to the point of delivery in real time, as well as a shared visibility of on-hand inventory and product in transit across the ecosystem participants, would allow healthcare facilities to mitigate risks associated with counterfeit devices and vendor inventory, reduce the overall cost of care, and improve patient safety.
HealthTech Innovation for Efficient and Trustworthy Medical Device Procurement
On a mission to help modernize the medical device market, healthtech startup TYDEi Health has launched a service that enables healthcare facilities to efficiently and transparently manage the procurement of medical devices such as implants. Capabilities of TYDEi’s offering includes:
- Shared visibility between facilities and vendors
- Automated purchasing and billing processes
- The ability to validate that products are being used as intended and in compliance with hospital policies, as well as identify both patients or products affected by recalls
- Digital audit trails of transactions across the involved parties
- Curated data on device pricing, utilization and expiration
- All the above, without disclosing personal health information to third parties
TYDEi teamed up with Blockchain Technology Partners (BTP) to use Sextant for Daml — BTP’s blockchain and smart contract management and operations platform — to underpin the delivery of its innovative SaaS offering. TYDEi’s healthcare application is debuting at this year’s HIMSS Startup Park @ Innovation Live.
TYDEi’s offering leverages Digital Asset’s open source smart contract language and application development framework Daml to reduce transactional inefficiency by automating purchasing and billing processes. Smart contracts embody the self-enforcing business logic of a multiparty business process. Daml was purpose-built for coding multiparty business processes and designed to work with different distributed ledgers as well as centralized alternatives.
Sextant for Daml simplifies the deployment and management of the Daml runtime environment on Hyperledger Besu and Hyperledger Sawtooth, as well as Amazon QLDB, Amazon Aurora and PostgreSQL. This allows TYDEi to focus on customer needs and the development of its supply chain management application, rather than the underlying technology infrastructure.
Medical device procurement needs to become more efficient, transparent and trustworthy, and there’s technology that can make that happen. Healthcare facilities, in particular, must have greater control over the equipment, devices and supplies they are using to deliver patient care.