Patient safety: Q&A with Masimo founder Joe Kiani

Masimo founder and CEO Joe Kiani

Healthcare companies are running out of reasons to keep their data behind closed doors, according to Masimo (NSDQ:MASI) founder & CEO Joe Kiani.

The technology needed to enable transparency is already here, so it comes down to a matter of leadership, he told attendees during the Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit spearheaded by Masimo’s Foundation for Ethics, Innovation & Competition in Healthcare, which took place in Laguna Beach, Calif., yesterday and today.

"I’m not any less guilty than my colleagues, who are all hoping that we’ll take advantage of our own data in a way that will be very profitable," Kiani told at the close of Sunday’s presentations. "I think we’re waking up to say, ‘You know what, while we haven’t thought about how to make money out of that, patients are dying.’"

Kiani told us about the spirit of openness, the opportunity for healthcare to catch up with other industries in terms of information innovation, and some of the motivators behind the push for better patient safety – including the death of a 12-year-old boy.

MassDevice: Given the importance of integrated medical device data in the interest of patient safety, why has it taken so long for medtech companies to open up their data and work toward integration?

Joe Kiani: I really think people were hiding behind standards. It was a good thing to say, "We’ll wait until the standards are fixed for us to begin sharing data." Just like me, I’m not any less guilty than my colleagues, who are all hoping that we’ll take advantage of our own data in a way that will be very profitable. And I think we’re finally waking up to say, You know what, while we haven’t thought about how to make money out of that, patients are dying, people are getting harmed.

So, even though it’s not our core business, let’s share the data, let’s create that superhighway of patient data. And whether we figure out how to use it or some 20-something-year-old kid out of nowhere does it, it’s the right thing for patients.

MassDevice: What are the dangers of keeping healthcare data and medical device data closed?

JK: The best example actually just happened this summer in New York. Rory Staunton, a 12-year-old kid, trips on the gym floor, gets a little cut. The parents took him, a 12-year-old kid, to a primary physician because they thought he had the stomach flu. Yeah, he has the stomach flu, they send him home. That doctor got some data, then when it was worth it to come to the hospital, the hospital got the lab results that showed he had some terrible infection. Earlier they’d done some recording of physiological monitoring that showed that he had a really high heart rate for a big 12-year-old kid like him, but guess what – those doctors and nurses never talked to each other. That data was never reviewed collectively.

As a result of that, that boy died – a 12-year old kid, from falling in a gym, died because he got sepsis.

If all the data were out there, if we’d done this pledge 10 years ago, by now there would be algorithms, there would be data collectors that would see the pattern that’s occurring – high pulse rate, high white blood cell counts, whatever it was – and send a warning to not just the primary doctor but the doctor at the hospital and maybe even the parents, to say, "This is not the stomach flu, this is something much more serious, let’s get him in on antibiotics as soon as possible, bring him in here for whatever they do for sepsis."

That’s the tragedy that’s occurring every day, because our devices are not open to the world to take advantage of whatever they’re intended for. I’m not saying people need to share the data underneath the data. I’m saying, if you bought our pulse oximeters, you bought it for spO2 and pulse rate information and the wave form. Well, that should be made available to whoever can use it. If you bought someone’s infusion pump, that data on the screen that tells you how much dose you’re giving, what you’re giving and what’s the rate, that should be available for whatever instrument can take advantage of it.

MassDevice: What are the technological barriers to sharing and integrating the data?

JK: I don’t think there are any. I think technology has come to a point that even if everything doesn’t talk the exact same language, it takes a matter of a week to a month at most to write the communication protocol so they can speak to each other. So that is not a barrier. One day, maybe after we’ve all made the pledge, then we’ll get together and really write a standard, because it’s easy to do. But I don’t think it’s even necessary.

Most equipment has HL7, which is a layer of software that allows other people to then dig into it and get the data they want out of it. Every HL7 is not the same, and that’s where you have miscommunication, but with that HL7 language it’s easy to write protocols to take advantage of it. You can create a sniffer that listens to the language and in a matter of a week or 2 after that it automatically adapts and you do the final tweaking.

MassDevice: What are the cultural barriers to gaining wider cooperation?

JK: I think it’s the realization that, 100 years from now, we’re all going to be dead, so why not do the right thing? I think 20 years from now, most of us are going to be retired. Wouldn’t it be great to look back and say we did something that was really good for everybody and we changed everything for the better? I think it’s really that realization.

And then, by the way, we all have our own core businesses, we’re all making money somehow. If 1 of us is lucky enough to figure out the best algorithm to take advantage of the data, great. But if we don’t, we’re all going to be OK. We don’t have to also conquer that to be part of this system and be a thriving part of this system.

MassDevice: You said earlier that the data gathered by devices should be open to "whoever can use it." Does that include college hacking teams and enterprising programmers putting new apps together?

JK: I mean anyone. Especially those people. Look at the power of everyone looking at the problem.

You know, 1 of the problems in healthcare is that not every engineer wakes up in the morning and wants to make a pulse oximeter and an infusion pump. They wake up thinking about making a telephone, a computer, a laptop. So we’re already limited in the number of people who are thinking about it, but we’re limiting even those people from thinking about it who are already thinking about it. I’m hoping with this pledge, this data becoming available, some guy – we don’t know his name, Jack Jones, I don’t know – comes up with the best algorithm, the best app, to make it all come home. And if they do it, that’s great! If we do it, that’s even better, but you know, that’s OK. Someone’s got to do it.

MassDevice: What’s the next step following the summit?

JK: I’m excited about the people who signed on to the pledge. When we announce them tomorrow, I think it’s going to rock the world and it’s going to make a lot more people want to make the pledge. People like [Dr. Peter Pronovost of Johns Hopkins Medicine] are going to make sure the companies who are making the pledge will get an edge – will get an edge in the business that they’re trying to seek at the hospitals, because that’s the best reinforcement to get everybody else to jump in and make the pledge. Eventually, once we all do it, we all lose the edge and that’s OK. Ultimately, we’re going to get a lot more back. We’ll all 1 day need to use this health system, so it better work better for us than it did for Rory Staunton.

RSS From Medical Design & Outsourcing

  • 3-phase current transducer from PEM delivers all-in-one convenience
    The new RCTrms 3-ph current transducer from Power Electronic Measurements (PEM) delivers a convenient, safe and accurate solution for measuring current in three phases. It features a thin, clip-around, flexible sensor coil and provides accurate true rms measurement with 4-20 mA or 0-5 V output, enabling simple installation with PLC’s, SCADA systems or automation equipment. […]
  • Safety alert: Recall on two IV solutions from Baxter
    Baxter International announced it is voluntarily recalling two lots of intravenous (IV) solutions to the hospital and user level due to the potential presence of particulate matter. The particulate matter in each case was determined to be an insect and was identified as a result of a customer complaint. The matter was identified prior to […]
  • TSO3 begins shipment of STERIZONE VP4 Sterilizers to U.S.
    TSO3, a developer in sterilization technology for medical devices in healthcare settings, announced that the company has received purchase orders for multiple devices from the U.S. The orders are the result of the collaborative relationship between Getinge Infection Control, its sales and service provider, and TSO3. “Finally,” said R.M. Rumble, president and CEO of TSO3. “Our Vision is […]
  • Turkish medical company is seeking reseller and OEM partners in the U.S.
    UZUMCU Medical Equipment, one of Turkey’s first and largest manufacturers of medical devices, is seeking reseller and OEM partners in the U.S. The company has an array of FDA-certified OR tables, surgical lights, surgical suction units, electro devices and other medical equipment. “We want to bring our experience with distributors throughout Europe and the Middle […]
  • QImaging introduces new CCD cameras for microscopy with modern software to streamline image capture
    QImaging, a manufacturer of scientific cameras for life science and OEM applications, introduces a new series of Retiga CCD cameras, accompanied by QImaging’s new acquisition software to deliver high-performance tools for microscopy and imaging to researchers at an affordable price. The new QImaging Retiga R1, Retiga R3 and Retiga R6 cameras offer valuable technical features […]
  • Sigma-Aldrich announces a new certification to aid IVD customers
    Sigma-Aldrich, a life science and high technology company, announced the company has received ISO 13485 certification for expanded quality assurance capabilities at its Dekalb and Barton facilities located in St. Louis. The certification extends Sigma-Aldrich’s ability to manufacture and offer critical raw materials, such as enzymes, proteins and antibodies used in diagnostic assays, and supplies in vitro […]
  • Prescribing the right power supply: Important considerations for using batteries to power medical devices
    Sol Jacobs, VP and General Manager, Tadiran Batteries Medical technology is advancing rapidly, requiring increasingly sophisticated power management solutions, especially when then the device needs to be self-powered. Battery-powered medical devices encompass a wide range of applications, including surgical drills, power tools, automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), infusion pumps, bone growth stimulators and other wearable devices, […]
  • Qosina announces the launch of its e-commerce website
    Qosina is pleased to announce the launch of its e-commerce website, making it easier to purchase thousands of medical device components from stock inventory. Visitors coming to the new will discover a new look and feel and improvements with every click including: · Easy navigation: A new category structure that mirrors the print catalog […]
  • Athermal laser machining for medical implants is the topic of Norman Noble’s latest whitepaper
    Thermal lasers have achieved extraordinary results in microprecision manufacturing of medical implants and devices the past 20 years. Devices we take for granted today, such as vascular stents, could not be produced without the technology; however, there are still significant limitations on what medical implant and device manufactures can produce using thermal lasers. One major issue […]
  • Sealevel announces the SeaISO family of USB isolators
    Sealevel announces the SeaISO family of USB isolators with 4 kV of medical-grade optical isolation between the host computer and connected USB equipment. SeaISO USB isolators are UL Recognized, in accordance with EN60601-1 3rd Edition, and protect both the power and data lines of connected USB devices from harmful ground loops, damaging transients and surges […]
  • The 21st Century Cures Discussion document recently released to the public
    It has been reported that among the 10,000 known diseases, 7,000 of which are considered rare, there are treatments for only 500. According to Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it now takes “around 14 years and $2 billion or more” to develop a new drug and “more than 95% […]

Leave a Reply