Mobile health startup MicroHealth is launching today with the idea to help patients take control of their chronic illnesses. The company was founded by Spanish brothers Dr. Marc Lara and Miguel Lara in 2011, who spent 10 years researching digital health and holding clinical trials at Columbia University Medical Center.
Unlike other services targeting large chronic disease populations, MicroHealth is focused on rare conditions, starting with hemophilia.
MicroHealth enables doctors to keep tabs on their patients and prescribe them the right dose for their specific condition.The company’s platform makes it easier for doctors and patients to communicate. First patients input their symptoms and medication intake, which is then scanned by MicroHealth. From there, the service reminds patients to enter periodic updates that are shared with care givers.
Hemophilia is a condition where the body is not able to produce the protein that makes blood coagulate. So if a patient with hemophilia gets a cut, he won’t stop bleeding until he intravenously injects enough of this protein.
“Usually patients will infuse all of the time so they don’t get spontaneous bleeds,” says Dr. Lara. “But two things happen in the real world: they don’t take the medication as they should, or they have a metabolism that’s not the average.”
However, different people need different doses of this protein. And this is where MicroHealth’s tech kicks in, enabling doctors to keep tabs on their patients and prescribe them the right dose for their specific condition. By simply prompting patients to log their medication intake along with the exact amount of dose taken, doctors are able to personalize treatment to match the metabolism and the daily activity of each patient. In addition, using the platform, doctors can also request photos and additional information from patients to get a better picture of their health conditions.
The company has managed to get 10 percent of hemophilia patients in the U.S. (nearly 3,000 people) to use its platform.The company has managed to get 10 percent of hemophilia patients in the U.S. (nearly 3,000 people) to use its platform, and these patients have seen a 40 percent average reduction in bleeds by properly managing their factor intake.
Going forward, MicroHealth plans to use the data collected to help the drug discovery process. Moreover, the idea is to add support for other illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and high cholesterol. These additional conditions will be managed using the same process, which the company claims, should deliver better outcomes.
“By analyzing data at a macro level, we’re going to be able to tell what works and what doesn’t work,” Miguel said.