Chat with an innovator: AkkeNeel Talsma founder of Melius Outcomes

AkkeNeel Talsma, PhD, RN, FAAN and founder of Melius Outcomes

Melius Outcomes, founded in Ann Arbor but now operating out of Milwaukee, provides intelligence, evidence, and expertise to optimize clinical outcomes and system solutions. Flyover Future talked with the company’s founder AkkeNeel Talsma about the company’s start and what it’s doing to improve health outcomes.

Do you have some stats about how much quality of care issues cost each year in terms of lives and hospital dollars?

Talsma: The healthcare budget is the largest and has been growing steadily, despite multiple efforts to address costs. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death, following heart disease, and cancer. Hospital-acquired conditions (complications) such as surgical infections, falls, etc., result in more than $2 billion in excess hospital costs and more than 3,200 potentially avoidable deaths in 2016.

When and how did your company form?

Talsma: Melius Outcomes was formed in 2016, the results of a research project at the University of Michigan that integrated actionable quality measures, best practices, and change management strategies. I founded the company with nurses who worked with me during the research project. We worked through the UM Tech Transfer program. Our core product, Melius Cares, focuses on procedures in the Operating Room (OR) and monitors quality indicators throughout the process, and guides nurses, managers, etc. with the best evidence-based practices to make improvements.

As a response to the pandemic, we also developed Melius Screen, a web app that captures the patient status and COIVD-19 status prior to entering a clinic. The patient will be monitored at home with the Melius @Home platform that allows clinicians to interact with patients and families after surgery to monitor progress.

The M-Screen app is for consumers who wish to organize all their COVID-19 data and use that to share their current status and risk for COVID. For example, employers, clinics, or athletes enter their personal COVID data and then show privately on their phone their current status. This information is used to enter events, work, and sports activities.

How does your software platform work?

Talsma: We use clinical data to generate current performance rates and, using an algorithm, link those with best practices and implementation strategies. The web apps have an algorithm that organizes the data and also identifies the risk level based on the current location, tests, vaccines, and the COVID-rate in a region.

What are the advantages of being located in Ann Arbor opposed to, say, Silicon Valley?

Talsma: We are located in the Great Lakes region and have connections with health systems in Michigan and Wisconsin. This makes it a good place for us to develop our product, as well as the need for quality improvement as well. Our primary customers are hospitals and health systems and we’ve found a good launching point here.