A black-owned healthcare technology company in Chicago has developed an app to care for COVID-19 patients at home. The telehealth startup known as “4D Healthware” has launched a new COVID-19 monitoring platform, which allows for remote monitoring, physician and lab supported diagnosis and at-home treatment.
Considering the increasing spread of the COVID-19 virus across the country and the need to have the general public self-quarantine, remote monitoring and treatment could go a long way to help ease the work of the frontline workers whilst curbing the spread as well.
“We developed the COVID-19 monitoring platform to greatly minimize the demands on in-person primary care, urgent care and emergency departments across the country; it can also reduce unnecessary risks to patients and care teams from further exposure to this highly infectious virus,” founder and CEO of 4D, Star Cunningham, said.
According to Cunningham, “Healthcare is now recognizing the value of virtually caring for patients. You don’t want [COVID-19 patients] to come out. What you want to do is eliminate a certain amount of foot traffic that’s coming into the healthcare system right now.”
The company can collect biometrics, like temperature, oxygenation levels and other critical stats by equipping patients with pulse oximeters, which measures the oxygen levels in blood using Wi-Fi-enabled digital tablets programmed with 4D Healthware’s software.
According to the 4D Healthware, it can service up to 500,000 coronavirus patients across the U.S. Many patients are currently using the coronavirus platform, according to Cunningham, who also said the number is increasing “exponentially each day.”
The 4D Healthware’s new COVID-19 platform is based on its original software, which uses health data from wearable devices, such as Fitbits or Apple Watches, to help people with chronic conditions monitor their health more effectively. Since most consumer wearables cannot monitor the illness, patients with COVID-19 need 4D’s hardware to monitor the illness.
“We call 4D Healthware enhanced telehealth because it’s more than that,” Cunningham said. “The beauty of 4D is that long after the pandemic ends, we are a viable long-term solution for managing patients at home.”
The company said their Enhanced Telehealth platform is a simple technology application and can be integrated with any EHR system quickly, efficiently and with minimal disruption. It can also reduce ER visits by 25% and delivers a 95% retention rate among engaged patients. The platform allows secure HIPAA compliant 2-way 24-hour communications.
Reportedly, the startup has raised more than $4 million since launching in 2012. Their singular mission is to give physicians the power to improve the health and save the lives of millions of patients with chronic illnesses. It primarily targets Medicare patients, however, they also accept patients with private insurance.
4D Healthware was borne out of the founder and CEO, Star Cunningham’s frustration with the healthcare system’s inability to appropriately diagnose, treat and coordinate her care. She dealt with multiple chronic illnesses since she was a child.
Cunningham launched 4D Healthware in 2012 after years at IBM. She is one of only a handful of African American female entrepreneurs in Chicago and one of the few African American female entrepreneur in the healthcare space and in the technology space.