IMPLANTABLE SENSORS OFFER DATA-DRIVEN TELEMEDICINE FOR VULNERABLE POPULATIONS IN AN ERA OF COVID19
Injectsense in-vivo sensors aim to keep patients out of clinics while helping physicians improve quality of care
EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 21, 2020 – Americans spend 2.4 billion hours on doctor visits. This means that in normal times, thousands of patients a month go to a doctor’s office for routine evaluation of chronic conditions that could easily be monitored through sensor-enabled digital health. In times such as these, where the novel coronavirus requires all medical staff on deck, remote monitoring via implantable sensors can perform double duty and help save lives.
First, it can provide a telemedicine solution that keeps non-urgent but vulnerable populations out of clinics and emergency wards to make room for priority cases. Second, compared to periodic office visits, it offers a superior solution for managing therapy effectiveness, as well as the opportunity to reduce costs. Equally important, sensor-enabled digital health opens a new era of telemedicine, where physician access to continuous diagnostic data will add clinically actionable information to routine virtual health appointments.
Sensor-enabled digital health solutions: how they work
By periodically uploading continuous data to the cloud, implantable sensors offer a reimbursable, data-driven solution that may improve outcomes, providing an unprecedented window on fluctuation of chronic disease indicators and risk factors. Physicians will be able to easily mine data, receive alerts on priority patients, understand how to optimize dosage, and identify drug interference. Ultimately, they will have the capability to monitor multiple parameters at once for greater disease insight.
As an example of such a system, Injectsense has developed a miniature implantable sensor smaller than a grain of rice for continuous data monitoring. It can be injected or implanted in the doctor’s office, and measures different parameters, including pressure, temperature, body position, motion, and other variables that provide information on chronic disease.
Injectsense’s first application is measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP), a glaucoma progression risk indicator. The IOP sensors, which have been tested in live animals, periodically send data to the cloud, providing physicians with clinically actionable information, keeping typically vulnerable glaucoma patients out of the doctor’s office for routine IOP evaluations. The company’s strategic partner and major investor saw the advantages of the system early on for use in the monitoring of glaucoma patients.
“It’s extremely difficult to know how IOP fluctuates from hour to hour,” said Iqbal “Ike” Ahmed, MD, FRCSC, research director and professor at the Kensington Eye Institute of the University of Toronto. “The ability to see what’s actually going on during a 24-hour cycle for an individual patient’s IOP will contribute enormously to therapy effectiveness.”
Telemedicine Benefits of Sensor-Enabled Digital Health during a Pandemic
“The availability of a sensor-based monitor would make following a patient’s glaucoma much more complete,” said Jason Bacharach, MD, FAAO, founding partner and medical and research director at North Bay Eye Associates. “A clinician would be able to visualize a 24-hour IOP curve and identify peaks and the ability to assess for disease stability as well as therapeutic effectiveness would be enhanced. We could do this remotely, reducing the need for in-person visits, which would be particularly beneficial during stay-at-home orders with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“When we developed the idea for this injectable platform six years ago, we saw it as essential to reducing the cost of unnecessary office visits across multiple medical domains -- ophthalmology, neurosurgery and other fields,” said Ariel Cao, CEO and president, Injectsense Inc. “Now the system can offer a highly viable approach to keeping physicians, clinics and hospitals available for priority patients during a time of need, while still providing doctors with a means to measure therapy effectiveness and receive reimbursement.”
Bringing Sensor-Enabled Health to Market for Maximum Value
The company is now heavily investing in a safe and effective sensor injection system as it moves towards first-in-human studies. Injectsense is targeting an accelerated path to market with support from its own strategic partners and investors in order to bring to market a solution that can protect the most vulnerable in today’s new reality.