BioScience Managers commits AUS$10M to new joint venture with Canary Medical to serve as a platform to collect and monetize data from implantable and wearable medical devices.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Aug 1, 2017 – Canary Medical (Canary) is pleased to announce the formation of CHARM Informatics Pty Ltd (CHARM), in collaboration with BioScience Managers Pty Ltd (BioScience) of Melbourne, Australia.
CHARM* is a Melbourne-based medical informatics startup that will provide data aggregation and monetization services to makers of “smart” medical devices. CHARM’s data management services will enable any device maker, no matter how large or small, to make its data more useful to the U.S. and other major healthcare ecosystems.
“There is a lot of medical and quasi-medical device data out there already, and a lot more coming on stream,” said Bill Hunter, CEO of Canary, “everything from wearable fitness trackers to implanted sensors integrated into pace makers or diabetes monitors.” According to Hunter, “many of the companies making these devices are having trouble creating value from the data they generate.”
Many device companies stumble when they grapple with the expense of regulatory compliance, pricing and reimbursement, and the complexity of making data usable to a large and diverse set of stakeholders that includes patients, physicians, hospitals, and insurers. CHARM will provide the necessary infrastructure, often on a revenue-sharing basis, allowing many fledgling device companies to realize their initial strategic visions.
Users of medical data have long appreciated the power of smart devices to provide timely, accurate data. Unfortunately, physicians have been deterred by the complexity and cost associated with adopting a new interface and payment mechanism for the several devices that address a given condition, while hospitals and insurers face the same problem, but an order of magnitude worse, as each disease state is served by a wide range of technologies.
Matt McNamara, CIO of BioScience, is convinced that CHARM will be part of the solution. “This is a situation that cries out for a platform-based solution: a common interface that makes it easy for device companies to make their data actionable, and doing it through a single, integrated interface that makes it easy for healthcare providers to improve outcomes and reduce costs.” Where applicable, CHARM will also assist with obtaining formal pricing and reimbursement from governments and payers based upon the medical monitoring and outcome data collected.
Hunter concurs. “Very few device makers are able to create different data streams for every provider and payer system out there, or to ensure that they are compliant with the ever-changing regulations that govern health data. And government and private payers don’t want 500 devices on 500 separate platforms. CHARM solves both problems at once. Device companies will be able to collect, transmit and store raw medical device data, then analyze, format and dispense interpretable data to patients, healthcare professionals, providers and payers.” Hunter continued, “users of data will be able to exploit the power of smart devices much more efficiently thanks to shared technical standards, uniform regulatory compliance, and common payment terms.”
The CHARM platform will reduce costs for both device companies and data users through economies of scale by eliminating overlapping investments in IT infrastructure. CHARM’s knowledge and experience navigating the healthcare reimbursement landscape will save device companies and payers alike endless headaches, as CHARM will be able to provide assistance with pricing and reimbursement.
As the CHARM platform grows, it will be increasingly valuable to aggregate data from any given device with health insights gained from other devices or data sources. For example, it will be possible to learn far more about the interaction among a given disease state, treatment protocols and rehabilitation efforts. CHARM will license Canary’s unique, patent-pending, auction-based data monetization algorithm. This method combines the whole of a patient’s monitoring activity (e.g., medical devices, fitness/health trackers, self-reported data, etc.) into a form more useful and valuable to hospitals, payers, and others, and monetizes it in ways that provide powerful incentives to device companies and patients, all while respecting patient privacy and device company trade secrets.
“Thanks to the unique ability of CHARM to generate insights through the combination of data from multiple sources, CHARM becomes more valuable to those device companies on the platform as more device companies join the platform,” said McNamara. “The classic positive feedback that drives platform businesses in general will be especially strong for CHARM.”
BioScience has invested AUS$10M for a 45% stake in CHARM. This will fund the development of a HIPAA-compliant data management system, including software, hardware, and the APIs needed to allow a wide range of smart medical devices to use the CHARM platform. Canary will provide senior leadership and technical expertise, and also holds a 45% stake in CHARM.
CHARM’s first data client will be Adherium, a maker of a smart inhaler in which BioScience has a significant ownership position. CHARM’s development and business plan forecasts a commercial launch in Q1 2019.
* The collective noun for canaries is “charm”.