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Imagine a future where smart hospital platforms facilitate treatment regardless of patient and clinician location, where patients reap the healing benefits of patient distraction devices, and clinicians are freed up from administrative tasks to focus on the patient while automation of those tasks provides more real-time, actionable data. Fred Holston, Director of Healthcare at Sirius Healthcare (A CDW company) joins Bill Russell to discuss Sirius’s Healthcare Technology Innovation Labs. A place where partners and technologies can come together to innovate, test, and build out new technologies to advance healthcare. What solutions are they focusing on in the labs today? What are health systems excited about in the areas of computer vision, command and control, touchless sensors and ambient listening? What is the role of a care companion and why is this interesting in this whole idea of Patient Room ‘Next’?

This is episode 5 of 5 in our series Patient Room ‘Next’. Other guests include Stephanie Lahr, CIO of Monument Health and Billy Prows, VP at Intermountain.

Sign up for our webinar: Patient Room 'Next': Improving Care Efficiency - Thursday September 29, 2022: 1pm ET / 10am PT


This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the smartest robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

Thanks for joining us. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week health, a channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. Welcome to our serious healthcare patient room. Next briefing campaign. I'm excited to get to our topic today. We're gonna talk with Fred Holsen and we're gonna round out this entire conversation, and we're gonna talk about some really cool. Technologies that they're showing off in their lab. This is gonna be a fun conversation. You're gonna enjoy it. This podcast series culminates with an excellent webinar panel discussion. We're gonna have experts from healthcare. We're also gonna have Fred on there as well. Patient room next, how to improve care efficiency. Check out the description box below for registration information and additional information about the webinar. You could also hit our website this week. upcoming webinars. Top right hand corner. We wanna thank our sponsor. Mobile heartbeat for giving us some time with Fred today and making this content possible now 📍 onto the show.

All right. Today, we are joined by Fred Holston director for healthcare for Sirius healthcare CDW company. Before joining Sirius, Fred was the CTO for Intermountain healthcare. Fred, welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me back.

I'm looking forward to this conversation. We talked to you earlier and you gave us an introduction to patient room next and the elements of patient room next, and some of the technologies today, we are going to talk in a little bit more detail about what someone might experience if you are giving them a tour of the, I keep calling it a lab. I'm not sure if that's the right word, but the facility that Sirius has where you bring clients down and you brainstorm around these technologies. tell us a little bit about that location and what you do with clients there.

Yeah, we have several of them. The one in California is specifically targeting patient room next right now. And for us, it's a working lab. It's not a traditional executive briefing center. That kinda thing. It's where we bring a lot of our partners and technologies in and try to piece 'em together and say, does this start to solve a problem in healthcare and around patient room next, which we talked about was a strategy.

And then in that strategy, you can't buy a single thing. Well, we're looking and kind of vetting pieces of that strategy. And letting people come and experience it. And number one, we're looking for feedback. Can our customers come in and say, I would never use this. This is horrible. It won't work. And that kind of tells us, maybe we shouldn't spend a lot of time on that particular or, Hmm. This is interesting. It might need a little tweak here, tweak there. Well, that's what the lab could do. Let's spend some time with our partner and do those kinds of tweaks. And if it doesn. If it's great, then maybe it's something. Then we want to continue to show and potentially make available to our customers and figure out how to do it.

And they can see many of these. I think the ones we'll talk about today they can see those in this particular lab, which in this one is in fountain valley, California.

You gave us a couple of areas. You gave us touchless sensors, vision, and you gave us listening and you broke listening down into some areas let's start with touchless sensors. What are some of the technologies that you're showcasing or not showcasing? Cause you're not, again, you're not selling anything. You're just having a conversation around, but what are those technologies around touchless sensors that people would be interested to hear?


Yeah. I think one of our most interesting at the moment is a sensor from a company called Netara very young company but doing exciting things with a radar based sensor.

So lemme put it in perspective. It's a, it's a relatively small box that fits behind a bit over a bit behind a chair in a variety of different Places, but it's relatively close to the body, but never touches the body. And it emits a radar and that radar brings back data. And from that data, they are able to basically determine vitals.

So from a heart perspective, they can't do a traditional EKG, but they can do a Ballal cardiograph, which is a different algorithm, but still does the same plotting kind of idea. They can do respir. They can do a number of things and we are looking forward. And they have to be careful not to give away too much, but they're doing basic vitals today, but we're looking forward into early next year that they should be able to complete the vitals collection where just second to second.

We're able to collect vitals off a patient and know what's going on. And that's being done. Touchless that could be done at home. Again, could be done in various areas of the hospital. Imagine walking into the clinic and instead of having to sit down and do all these vital things, you just sit down in the exam room and as the exam's going on, your vitals continue to get collected.

So when you come in with white coat syndrome and your blood pressure's way too high, but as you're sitting there, things begin to settle. And a physician goes, well, maybe you don't need blood pressure medicine. It's just white coat syndrome. Or if you're in the hospital and things change between the time the nurse comes in and does vitals every few hours that we know that, or if you're sitting at home and just sitting and watching television, we get the vitals that we need to, know how you're doing. That's an exciting technology around this touchless space.

Yeah, I, i, I didn't even think we were close to something like that. I would that's really exciting. And the possibilities around that are pretty exciting as well. Is this a I don't wanna get too much into it cause I wanna touch on these other things, but is this an expensive thing to implement in these patient rooms or is the cost pretty something that you can deploy in 800 or 900 rooms.

Yeah. I mean, certainly as you talk about doing an 800, 900 rooms, obviously everything gets more expensive, but the device itself is not very expensive. And I won't say that the cost of the device, but when you think about what you pay for traditional medical devices to monitor a patient it's not even CLO it's not even.

It's sub thousand dollars kind of scenario to, to do that. And then it's basically all cloud based. So all the data's going into the cloud, the analytics are done up there and then it'll naturally feed the EHR and send alerts and data and integrate into whatever we need to integrate into. So there are monthly charges and that side.

When you think about what you're getting, when you think about what the nurses are not doing, which you might be asking patients to do, which they're not very good on compliance when they're at home then yet you're doing it kind of in a automatic fashion, just sit and watch television and we'll do what we need to do.

When you start thinking about those kinds of things, this costs is significantly less than, than alternative.

yeah, the whole idea of passively collecting the information is so key because we're to do it with nurses is time consuming, expensive and challenging to rely on the patient to do it is fraught with its own set of challenges. Alright. Computer vision. what are health systems excited about in this.

Yeah. So let me, let me tell you what we've started being excited about. There are a lot of point solutions. So one of the number one things today is still falls after all these years. Healthcare organizations are still dealing with falls, the effect of falls and the cost of falls.

And so there's solutions out there for falls what we're excited about is using a platform that says, Hey, that may be your first big problem you wanna solve. But what about turns? What about automated nursing documentation? What about any number of other things that that vision could be solving?

So for us, one of the, the things in the lab is a company called art site. Art site is an AI vision platform, basically take cameras, speaker mics that are hiding in the ceilings in various parts from the, or to the patient room. And they're using vision. To figure out what's going on and to do a variety of different tasks and understand a lot of things.

So falls trying to prevent falls, understand what's going on with falls. I think they have 14 plus different capabilities today and continue to add, and they. Customers to say, well, what do you need it to do now? And they just build another model. And when that model gets built, everybody gets it.

And so our, our customers are excited because number one, it's solving immediate problems and it's doing it in a very efficient way. If you look at the, or it's, it's all based around improving or throughput, Understanding where you actually are in the surgery and being able to predict where you're going to, how soon that surgery's gonna be over.

So there's, there's a cost efficiency over there, but when you talk about patient rooms the fact that we know that you've turned so we can document that we don't need nurses to come in and do that. It allows the whole virtual nursing idea that we kind of talked about in the first episode. It's really this platform that starts to take vision and say, what do you wanna do next? And where patient room next wants to go with it is this continuous idea of automated documentation. Can I see that you're doing something? And from that know that what you're doing needs to be documented and do it.

And to the extent that we can do that totally automatic, great. To the extent that we have to create some kind of node or say, did you do that? Because regulatory might say, I need Verifi. Okay, let's do that. But let's make it as automated and simple as possible. It's quick pulling around cows and wows or having big computers in the room that are making noises and sucking up dust and doing all these things.

Let's let nurses do their job and as they're doing their job, let's document that. And that's not an invent to say, I'm looking for you to make a mistake. That's not the point. I'm looking for you as you're doing your job to take away all of. I must do it stuff so that you can focus on being a really good nurse or doctor or whomever.

It's another set of eyes, right? When you get that camera in that room, it's another set of eyes. It can look for falls. It can look for any number of things, hand washing. It can look for conversations or anything that needs to be documented. And so it's set of eyes connected to artificial intelligence. That's connected to automation essentially. does it sound right?

Yeah, no, that's absolutely correct. And one of the other things to be clear about is, and what we like about Artai art site, doesn't say video, the whole idea, the AI side isn't to create petabytes of video that can go back and be looked at.

It really is to say, I see something now the AI figures out what it needs to know about that and do with it. And then it gets rid of that video. And that's really never a kept kind of thing. And the only exception to that in the case of Artis site is in the case of surgery where your physician can choose to keep a small amount of video during their surgery for training purposes, where they can train residents or they can continue the improvement, have somebody look at what they did and say, is that is that the right way to do it, whatever they want.

But they're in control of. And only for those purposes. And so that also makes it I think important in this conversation that the goal isn't to be punitive here and say somebody can go back and look how well I did my job. It is to do your job record what needs to be recorded and then be done with it and move on.

Yep. It's really fascinating. All right, so we did eyes now we're gonna do ears listening. Now you have, you have three different areas. We probably don't have enough time to go into each. You gave us. Essentially command and control, ambient listening, and then you give us this whole idea of care companion. I wanna focus in on the care companion only, cuz I, I think it's in interesting. I mean there's a bunch of ambient listening, really cool stuff to talk about there, but talk a little bit about a care companion. What is the role of a care companion and why is this interesting in this whole idea of patient room?

So product that specifically kinda referring to as a product called L EQ little device, the power that is not the little device, the power is the backend, but what's important about this is number one, when we're in the traditional patient room the only people you can talk to are the people you push the button and get on the phone for nurse call, or if the nurse comes in the room or somebody.

And when you go home, you really have no one to talk to and you have no interaction. Unless you sit down to, let's say an iPad or some other purpose built device that you sit down and kind of do a visit with, or collect vitals and those kinds of things. And this idea is really to develop relationship it's with AI it's with automation, but something that's more humanesque.

And that kind of has a conversation. And by the way, it goes both ways. It's not just that you ask it a question or you tell it I did something, but it can start this conversation and say, Hey it might be time for doing this, or how are you feeling today, but really well, tell me about that.

Or even have a conversation you can say, tell me a joke and it'll tell you a joke. But it really is to develop this, this kind of conversation. So why is that important? Well, number one, the likelihood that people are gonna sit down and do this routine that they need to do all the time is not that great people don't have great compliance and they don't like it.

And a lot of people wanna mess with the technologies. And so for some set of people, it's hard or it's not intuitive. This is just something they talk to and it asks a question, people understand questions, and they answer the question or they have this dialogue and they build this relationship.

So, number one, we get a lot of information from that combined with the censoring that we talked about earlier, we know a lot what's going on with that patient. In whatever situation they're in. The second thing is you can begin to detect when changes occur, everything. Look, your voice is different.

You're not as energetic. You're not answering me any number of things that you can begin to detect, or you can say, you know what? I just don't feel good today. Well, that might just generate enough information for somebody back in the health system. Let's just say, we're talking about home here, somebody back in the health system to say maybe I should just make a call to them and you.

Just make sure everything's going okay. And just have a proactive call. And that could be a phone call, maybe not a video call, but the little device also has a little screen on it. So that call could come in just on that screen and you don't necessarily need him to push a whole bunch of things.

Hey, like you call My care coordinator or that care coordinator could call in and say, Hey, what's going on? Are you doing okay today? And have, have a different dialogue and understand, do we need to raise the level of care that's going on? Maybe they need to get back and go see somebody.

Maybe they need, maybe we need to get the ambulance there. Cause something serious is going on. Whatever that happens. But again, it just kind of occurs as we talked about in the touchless sensor idea, it just kind of occurs in a very natural and a little more passive way in the sense that we don't need them to start interacting with something.

It just kind of occurs and it's different. And it obviously has a ways to go and fully understanding everything. There's so much data in voice. We've been looking at a company that literally from the voice, can you tell that it has, can you tell that it has other diseases the biomarkers in voice?

So there's a long way that that technology can certainly go. But today just being, building a relationship and then understanding from that relationship what's going on with you and then putting the sensor with that. Is a powerful set of information that, that I think will let us take people into other environments, traditional patient room, but certainly nontraditional patient areas. And know a lot that we don't know today without asking them to do as near as much as we have asked for them in the past.

Fred, this is fantastic. People are probably thinking I want more. Give me more. And we're gonna give you that opportunity. The webinar that we talked about earlier in the introduction is coming up and that's gonna be a culmination. We're gonna have Fred myself. We're gonna have some of those organizations that are forward, looking at some of the technologies on the webinar as well. So if you're thinking, Hey, that was an interesting series. I'd like to have more information just come into the webinar. We'll have a great time there and explore some of these things more detail. Fred, thank you again for your time. Really appreciate it.

Thanks for giving me 📍 the opportunity.

Brad has the coolest job in America. He gets to play with technology in that lab and then go out and talk to healthcare providers about it and see it into implementation and just a really fun job. Great to talk to him. Great to catch up another great discussion with Fred. I wanna thank our sponsor for today. Mobile heartbeat for investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Don't forget. Hey, this whole series ends with a great webinar. We're gonna have four. Great magnificent, wonderful. Can't think of any more adjectives. That's all I got for today. Healthcare leaders, we have Anna Baker, Garber, former C for HCA healthcare. Dr. Stephanie LAR CIO C. For monument health, Billy pros, emerging technologies and innovation strategists at Intermountain. And of course, Fred will come back on director of healthcare at Sirius healthcare at C BW company. And we're gonna talk about all these things that you've been hearing about in these last couple of episodes, patient room next. What does the future look like? Unlocking AI? Artificial intelligence, computer vision ambient clinical intelligence. I mean just a, a bunch of fun things to talk to these people about. You could check out the description box below for more information and the registration link. You could also go to our website this week. top right hand corner. We have upcoming webinars click on the webinar you wanna attend and sign up. Love to have you join us September 29th at one o'clock Eastern time. that's it. That's it for this 📍 series check us out on the webinar. It's gonna be fantastic. Love to have you there. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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