As health care providers look to shift more care into the home, Biofourmis is cementing its spot as a home-based care enabler for its partners.
Biofourmis was founded in Singapore back in 2015. The company’s U.S. offices are headquartered out of Boston.
One of the key segments of Biofourmis’ business is centered around managing post-acute and complex chronic care patients. In order to do this, the company leans on its software and data science capabilities – as well as clinical care teams – to deliver care virtually in the home.
Home Health Care News recently caught up with Ross Armstrong, the chief commercialization officer at Biofourmis. During the conversation, he touched on Biofourmis’ clinical outcome success and where the company sees the most growth opportunity moving forward.
HHCN: Biofourmis has a unique business model. How has that given you legroom to accelerate hospital-at-home?
Armstrong: The technology enablement is critical to this. We’re doing a lot of unique things by having the ability to ingest biometric data, and then using the AI to interpret when patients are decompensating, in order to create unique care pathways for them.
One of the biggest pieces around this is really being able to scale. Obviously, the cost of the technology is one thing, but that is dwarfed by the cost of staffing that is required to be able to provide serviceable programs. Anything that we can do to create staffing efficiency — particularly around virtual nursing and physician care — is really helpful, as we think about creating a truly scalable program. This is where a lot of IP and uniqueness comes into play.
Biofourmis has seen a lot of funding gains in recent months. In August, the company raised $20 million, and four months earlier, $300 million. Are investors more willing to fund at-home care companies, especially considering that in the past we’ve seen kind of a dip in funding in the digital health space?
It’s obviously a space that there’s a lot of interest in. Everybody understands the trends right now and why things are moving into the home. There’s a whole host of reasons around it.
I think what we’re seeing here is that broad applicability across the continuum of care is really important. Us not being a point solution is, I think, one of the key things that’s been allowing us to generate that level of interest in raising capital from the different partners that we have. We’ve created a very flexible platform that is device agnostic, that can incorporate biometric data in a whole host of different site-agnostic ways, and interpret that data, and really create actionable insights and create efficiencies around it.
Biofourmis set out to accomplish a number of goals after it received its latest round of funding. These goals included things like working towards certain digital initiatives, and partnering with more health systems. What progress has been made there?
We’ve had a number of announcements of some really important clients recently, like Orlando Health and Augusta University Health. We’re really excited about that. We have an extremely full pipeline right now and have a lot of announcements coming.
We’ve been really able to demonstrate the value of the post-acute space. We are an outcomes-based company. That’s an area that we have good case studies in. We’ve shown really good results.
There’s kind of this hybrid of the acute and post-acute space that we actually see as a real opportunity for the industry when thinking about all the headwinds that health systems are facing around labor shortages, cost containment, and, quite frankly, capacity issues.
Can we actually help transition patients out in a timely discharge one to two days early, and continue that care plan in the home? Maybe that means delivering that last round of IV antibiotics, or maybe we just need one more round of lab values. We’d have phlebotomists go to the home and we get the lab values there. We can continue that care plan in the home and create significant variable cost savings for the hospital, get the patient in an environment that they want to be in, and help them heal. Then we actually continue to manage them and monitor them through the post-acute. It’s this hybrid model. It’s an area where we see real growth potential, and what we’re focused on now.
The company has also seen some success when it comes to better clinical outcomes. There was one case where your solution was used with a home-hospital program, and it was said that the outcomes were 70% better compared to care received in the hospital.
A lot of it is just real-time access to information through the biometric data that we are streaming in and being able to, through the AI algorithm, really see when patients are decompensating. Before they need that high-cost environment, we can dial-in, and get them tuned up.
We are able to really think about what those patients need and get them to be activated around their care. We can push them to the specific information that’s needed. We get to engage in surveys to understand how they’re feeling. We can make sure that they are doing the things they need to be doing, whether it’s medication adherence or it’s just taking their blood pressure, so that we can see what’s going on with them.
Another standout metric was the company’s ability to lower costs by 38%. Can you provide some context around how your model helps lower costs?
It’s really about keeping patients out of those high-cost environments. Can we shift even post-acute care from a facility-based, higher cost environment into the home, potentially with home health?