“It may be part of human nature to err, but it is also part of human nature to create solutions, find better alternatives, and meet the challenges ahead.” — From the Institute of Medicine's 1999 report on medical errors
- Preventing costly medical errors
- Podcast: Healthier with data
- A blood test for Alzheimer's
- The Cleveland Clinic and liver tumors
- Wash U converts briny water
- Growing fresh food in space
- Microsoft's Minecraft Ed platform
- Hive Networks celebrates wins
- Fueling the Future
- Name that Flyover City!
December 31, 2020
Melius Outcomes founder AkkeNeel Talsma
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.
Matt Doctrow turned a job analyzing equipment usage for the U.S. Army's special operation command into a career leading healthcare companies on the journey to operationalize their data. Now, heading up analytics for healthcare startup SentryHealth, Matt helps to solve health problems for people before they actually happen.
Powderkeg's Unvalley Virtual Conference
Powderkeg, a digital community for tech companies, investors, and professionals, hosted its first-ever Unvalley Virtual Conference on December 17, featuring speakers such as Revolution’s Steve Case and Powderkeg’s CEO Matt Hunckler. The two-day event focuses on opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in the land between the coasts. Also, the winners of the second annual Tech Culture Awards were presented to companies in Flyover Country for being culture leaders at a national level.
C2N Diagnostics of St. Louis have patented a blood test that would make it easier for people to learn whether they have Alzheimer's disease. The test hasn't been approved by the FDA but it's being sold under more general rules for commercial labs.
Ablation tech and liver tumors
The Cleveland Clinic is the first in the world to use latest ablation tech to destroy large liver tumors. The minimally invasive procedure uses a single needle connected to a powerful 150-watt microwave generator that can burn a malignant liver tumor as large as 2.4 inches. Dr. Eren Berber led the team that successfully used the technique on a patient in October.
NASA wants to send astronauts on a mission to Mars in a little over a decade from now. As part of that, a team of researchers from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis has created a new type of electrolysis system that can convert briny water into usable products while also being compact and lightweight.
Madison team develops produce cultivation systems for NASA
Microsoft launches Minecraft education platform in Louisville
The Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) system in Louisville, Kentucky was one of only three school districts in the world chosen to pilot the Minecraft Education Edition (MEE) on Chromebooks platform. So far JCPS has issued 70,000 Chromebooks to students and has started training teachers with Minecraft boot camps.
Hive Networks celebrates wins in a difficult year
John Bostick, Hive Networks Founder
There wasn’t much good news from 2020. But one Cincinnati company – Hive Networks – quietly pushed through the unprecedented year of loss and upheaval to score some important wins.
Hive Networks offers a software platform that helps bring patients, clinicians, and researchers together, in a working community, to improve patient outcomes. It was founded in 2019 as a Cincinnati Children’s spinout with CincyTech backing.
Earlier this month, Hive Networks announced a multi-year partnership with ImproveCareNow (ICN), a working community that seeks to improve the health and care of children and youth with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – collectively called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
More than 70,000 children in the U.S. live with IBD. Through the partnership, Hive’s platform will create capacity for ICN to improve the health outcomes for those children through its shared learning technology. “Hive will enable our community to better cross-pollinate ideas, deliver data more efficiently, and foster improved outcomes for patients,” said ImproveCareNow Executive Director Kristin Howe.
Hive’s mission of helping people is deeply felt, and fervently practiced, by its team. The company was recognized in November by TechOhio as the 2020 Startup Culture Award Winner, but not for the flashier employee perks you usually see in startups. The Hive team was acknowledged for the familial feel of a tight-knit and hardworking staff that is passionate about an important mission.
“We have to embody what we sell, right? So we come at this with humility and curiosity and an excitement about figuring out how we’re going to solve those problems. To do that, you can’t be siloed and you can’t be one guy thinking he always has the answers. You have to have a culture that values and respects everyone’s ideas and is willing to change,” Chris Sauer, Hive’s Systems Architecture Director told TechOhio.
Closing out the year, Hive was just named as one of Cincy Inno’s Greater Cincinnati startups to watch in 2021. The early-stage companies were chosen for their solid traction and innovative approaches to important problems. Hive’s first-of-its-kind technology and the recent partnership with ICN being prime examples of that.
To learn more about Hive Networks’ vision and accomplishments, click here.
What is fueling Flyover Country innovation? In this weekly feature, we share a variety of announcements covering funding, acquisitions, exits, grants, and everything in between. Got something to celebrate? Click here to share your story.
A Pittsburgh-based esports and gaming coaching company has closed a $3 million seed funding round. Metafy, a platform that enables the best players in the world to monetize their talent through 1:1 coaching and courses, launched in August.
It's time for our favorite trivia game!
Here are this week's questions:
- Forest Gill invented the bumper sticker. What city did he invent it in and why?
- A guy named Ray Harroun was perhaps the first to use a rear-view mirror on a motorcar. Where did this event happen?
- Organic chemist John Sheehan collaborated with his doctorate advisor to create a feasible production of RDX, a substance that was used as an explosive in WWII, giving the Allies a huge advantage. What city’s school did he attend?
Click here for today's answers.
Share stories, offer suggestions, or send comments!