Our latest interviewee is Stan Marett, who was named President of MR3 Health in January of 2015. He has broad management experience in various healthcare executive roles, has also worked as a consultant and entrepreneur. His corporate leadership encompasses public as well as private, for-profit and non-profit health systems, and start-ups. Marett is also an innovator and a strategist with extensive project management experience.
He has served as interim CIO for several hospitals in Texas, after having served as CIO in two medical centers. Mr. Marett earned a Masters of Computing Science and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University.
Here's what he had to say…
How would you pitch your company? What's your elevator pitch?
MR3 Health is a disease management company focused on those at high risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) and lower extremity amputations (LEA). We want to partner with a select group of insurance companies, MCOs, ACOs, and medical groups to reduce the number of their members who develop diabetic ulcers and the associated complications. By reducing the incidences of ulcers and amputations, our service model saves save millions in healthcare expenses. Using a proprietary, clinically proven medical device as the catalyst, coupled with our monitoring protocols, we expect very high compliance rates which will lead to as high as a 72% decrease in ulceration within our monitored group.
What sets you apart from competitors?
We have a proprietary, clinically proven, FDA-cleared device, the TempTouch, that is the core of our business. No one else has this device, proven through three sets of clinical trials conducted under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Administration. Since the regulatory hurdles have been met, we are positioned to swiftly identify, register, and monitor enrollees. The efficacy of the technology and the device are already documented. We also have a management team in place with the expertise to successfully execute our business model, while maintaining the flexibility to quickly adapt to changes in the dynamic healthcare environment.
What's your business model?
The business model involves contracting with healthcare payers to provide MR3 monitoring services and TempTouch devices to the targeted members in their portfolio. Leveraging our MR3 Methodology (Monitor, Report, Respond and Remediate) approach, MR3 will initially focus on members with a history of diabetic foot ulcer diagnoses. MR3 will monitor members on a daily basis identifying those members with a consecutive two day, four degree rise in foot temperature. Upon this occurrence, human and technology forms of communication will contact the member, healthcare payer, and member's clinical team regarding the "at risk" of ulceration.
MR3 will proactively identify the need for intervention thus providing the opportunity to reduce the risk and cost of ulcer treatment and potential amputation. The economic driver of success is a reimbursement model whereby MR3 will charge the healthcare payer a per-member/per-month fee to access the MR3 services and support network. For this fee, MR3 will provide the member with a TempTouch device, training materials, a support team, customer service access and a rapid response alert to the member's clinical care team.
Can you share some numbers? How many users do you have?
At present, we are in negotiations with a number of insurance providers in the South Texas area. We expect to have contracts in hand and to be providing monitoring services to enrollees within the fourth quarter of 2015.
Where do you see the company going from here?
Unfortunately, the incidence of diabetes increases each year, as does the cost of treatment. As those number grows, the incidence of foot ulcers and the resulting amputations will also grow. Since prevention is fast becoming a primary driver of healthcare innovation, we are well positioned to assist in the effort to reduce costs and save the lives of the most at risk diabetic populations. With controlled, careful growth, we will expand both geographically, and institutionally to meet this need head on.
Where do you see the mHealth industry going?
Technology is moving quickly in the direction of more remote, indirect patient monitoring and evaluation, The growth of telemedicine, sensor enabled apparel, applications for smartphones and tablets, and even smart spaces (workstations, etc.) demand that the healthcare industry adapt to the more mobile, less tethered population. I can envision the time when patients won't need to visit their healthcare providers for many services currently requiring a face-to-face encounter. This will save time and money for providers, patients, and not least, payer groups.
How long are we from seeing modern mHealth technologies going mainstream?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors:
- The time and expense related to regulatory clearance for new treatments, applications, and devices. At present it can take 5-10 years to get new technology past clinical trials, FDA clearance, and payor coverage determinations.
- Government mandates, at the Federal and State levels, can expedite development of healthcare innovations if there is a political will, fueled by voter demand.
- Exponential growth in both numbers and sophistication of new devices, diagnostics, and applications will further reduce the number of years required to prove efficacy and value.