Hemant Virkar, President & CEO“What we need to do is revolutionize the process of understanding disease by directly involving patients in the new world of genetics and medical research. By empowering the patient, we can change how healthcare works,” says Hemant Virkar, President and CEO, Digital Infuzion. It was after Virkar’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1998 that he saw a clear picture of the health arena through the lens of a patient.
One of Digital Infuzion’s opportunities for innovation is at the intersection of disease monitoring and patient registries, both of which play an integral role in the understanding of a disease by engaging both patients and physicians in answering questions of treatment and a disease’s course. That is the core belief for the company’s next-generation patient registry software platform N of 1™ Health Research.” N of 1 provides a disease management analytics and electronic patient-reported outcomes platform that improves disease understanding, research, and drug discovery, resulting in better patient outcomes.
The N of 1 platform is being used in the life sciences space by biotechnology companies such as Genzyme, Sanofi, Ultragenyx, and the Inova Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI). For ITMI, the N of 1 platform is supporting a unique observational study involving the correlation between a child’s genetic profile, their development and their long-term health. By comparing these health and development issues with the genetic profile of each family (child, mother and father), ITMI hopes to identify specific genomic information associated with the medical issues, ultimately leading to new treatment and prevention pathways.
“In the same spirit of our patient registry work, one of Digital Infuzion’s core competencies is focused on breaking down walls between health and research information across systems,” says Virkar. “This adds a tremendous burden of complexity to running clinical trials and providing valuable, integrated support to patients like my father,” Virkar adds. It is through enterprise application integration (EAI) framework that Digital Infuzion links together disconnected health research enterprise applications and data to amalgamate and coordinate clinical trials.
We have developed our own next-generation patient registry software as a service (SaaS) called N of 1™ Health Research, a platform that performs disease monitoring functions
“Just like our N of 1 work in disease monitoring, this enterprise work is fundamental to expanding and re-envisioning health research for the 21st century,” says Virkar.
“Another area of passion we feel is for connecting health data to medical research through mobile technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT),” says Virkar. “We have taken a mobile-first approach, integrating both the IoT in the form of wearable technology to develop new tools for health research.” Digital Infuzion is working on ways to eliminate laborious data entry by collecting data from wearable devices and sensors to provide a more continuous, real-time, and accurate stream of insight compared with traditional periodic visits to a doctor or a clinic. “By focusing on these interrelated areas of disease monitoring, patient registries, enterprise integration, and the IoT, Digital Infuzion has a tremendous opportunity to help bend the curve of health research from symptomatic to pre-symptomatic,” says Virkar.
“Perhaps with these new tools, my father would have known even before the cancer developed that he was at risk and could have worked with his care team to take action and change his outcome. We live in an era of remarkable change and opportunity. The convergence of data and technology is transforming healthcare. Whether it is through cognitive computing or disease analytics, we are creating products and solutions that serve humanity’s deepest desire to live a healthier life.”