Meet Emma Fauss, CEO of Medical Informatics Corp. (MIC), a software-based monitoring and analytics company that unlocks monitoring data from the bedside to enable data-driven medicine and patient-centered care.
How did you come to build this business?
Medical Informatics (MIC) began when co-founder, Dr. Craig Rusin, was working in a cardiology department and needed a way to take high-resolution physiological data to identify indicators of disease and predictors of patient conditions. At the time, there were no commercially available data collection tools that could collect, store, and process the volume of data needed to integrate with an analytics program. Dr. Rusin solved the problem by building his own grid-computing platform. Dr. Emma Fauss came along and realized that this platform could be used beyond medical research to solve other clinical problems across the healthcare environment. Dr. Fauss became CEO and commercialized the platform for wider adoption.
What is the next business milestone that you are working towards? How will Health InnovatAR help with that?
Our next milestone is to get the core foundation of software-based monitoring tools into every hospital to provide them with data they have never had before beyond the point of care. Following that, we will want to leverage that foundational data to begin transforming data, across disparate devices and systems, into new software-based monitors that enable the care team to get ahead of deterioration and risk, improve care delivery and save lives. Health InnovatAR is helping with this problem by first installing the base to do real-time, remote monitoring and then helping to create Health InnovateAR-branded patient trajectory monitors and automated event detectors for their patient populations.
You've now made your initial visit to Arkansas as part of the program! What are your initial impressions of Arkansas?
Every person we have met in Arkansas embodies the warm, friendly, open, down-home spirit that the state is so well known for. It is clear that the healthcare teams and every member of the Health InnovatAR program are devoted to changing healthcare by not only looking for the best technologies to help care teams but also welcoming anyone and everyone into that environment with open arms to help realize that vision.
So far, what has been the best part of your participation in Health InnovatAR?
The best part of participating in Health InnovatAR is being a part of a culture that is on the cutting edge; that works together as a team to realize change.
How does Health InnovatAR compare to other startup programs you have interacted with?
We have only been involved in a handful of other startup programs but most are more theoretical and conceptual. What is different about InnovatAR is that we are actually installing the solution and taking action, not just talking about what to do. We have direct access to end users so we can really understand their needs and then ensure that we can track the impact that our solution is hoping to have. We truly feel like part of a team of change; not just a vendor.
What is the best piece of advice you ever got? The worst?
The best advice I’ve ever received is to think outside of the box and push the status quo. I also think being open and honest and willing to walk away if you don't think you have the right solution. Focusing on the needs of those you serve is what matters. When you focus on solving a problem and helping others that's when you can make a difference.
The worst advice I’ve ever received is when you work for companies that want you to focus on their products and features. The product doesn't matter. It's what problem the product solves that does. And sometimes that problem is different to different people so getting into every person's individual needs is key.
What two pieces of advice would you give to someone looking to become an entrepreneur?
Don't sell your product. Don't focus on the revenue. Focus on solving a problem even down to the personal level of each user because every person has a different pain. When you do that work is no longer work because you are helping others and changing lives.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I'd like to share a personal story that I've heard from different users of MIC's solution. What's been interesting about the journey at MIC is that we are unlocking patient data from the bedside to empower care providers to have the data they need to save lives. What's so different is that every user has a different data pain. We develop apps with a name and they are typically built to solve one issue but we then find they end up solving others we hadn't thought of. We built our PatientHx app to enable the remote viewing of complete patient history from one second to one year — really to help solve the challenge around full disclosure and purging of data after 24-72 hours. There were the obvious benefits of full trend analysis, root cause analysis, getting a view of entire LOS, but then our users started asking us about strip printing. They kept talking about the manual process of printing strips to get into the patient record. In under a week our tech team was able to not only add an export to EMR feature so any trend and full strip could be sent to the record automatically but they can now automate strips with an entire PHI free URL to the record for customer-defined criteria such as Q2 or Q4, admit and discharge, and key events. Now we have been able to configure the system to automate those strips to not only save thousands of hours a year in nursing time but more importantly getting the data into the record right away to enhance documentation, make the record more meaningful, and give the clinical team access to data to really improve decision making. Again it came down to listening to customer problem and finding a solution. I am so proud of our ability to make those changes so quickly to really change care.