Enigma CKM: Helping Doctors Cut Through Information Overload
Doctors require the right knowledge at the right place and at the right time to support their decisions about diagnosis and treatment. With new health studies coming out almost daily and growing concern about quality care, better use of information technology could be the answer. But doctors and clinicians are already drowning in a sea of information and are too busy to cut through the clutter.
“Information technology doesn’t have to result in information overload,” says Martin Entwistle, CEO of Enigma CKM, Inc. “Web technology has evolved over the past few years to the degree where we can have web-based applications talk to each other and deliver timely, useful information to support clinical decision making in a highly effective and efficient manner.”
The Philadelphia-based company has developed a proprietary platform that integrates best-practices medical knowledge with a “snapshot” profile of an individual taken from their medical record. The goal: to deliver patient-specific information directly to the doctor at the point of care-be that a workstation, laptop or PDA.
Enigma’s electronic clinical decision support platform acts as a “smart search agent,” focusing directly on the immediate clinical problem and bringing together the most pertinent information from the millions of pieces of data available.
Going Beyond What’s Expected
“Clinical decision support is a term a lot of people throw around these days because it is a hot topic,” Entwistle says. “While many companies talk about providing clinical decision support, few go beyond providing simple and generalized alerts and reminders about drugs or laboratory results-a small part of what is needed for effective patient management.”
Enigma helps plan care around a specific disease or condition area to provide better, more holistic care management for both individuals and populations. Take diabetes, for example. The plan for a 65-year-old African-American woman will be quite different from the plan for a 45-year-old Caucasian male.
“Very few companies are able to provide this level of automated risk assessment and care planning,” says Entwistle, “yet it’s precisely what’s needed to provide doctors with better decision support and better patient care at a price point that enables wide-scale adoption.”
Critical Data When and Where It’s Needed
With Enigma’s state-of-the-art platform, a clinical system like a medical record database sends patient information to Enigma’s secure platform gateway. The smart system instantly matches the patient profile to the best-practices information stored in its knowledge base before sending back a customized care plan.
Within the care plan is an individual risk assessment and information to educate both the patient and practitioner. There’s also a list of things to do-such as orders for tests or drugs and referral to a specialist-depending on the patient’s situation.
“Our solution allows for faster, more accurate patient assessments, saving valuable clinician time and improving patient outcomes,” Entwistle says. “We’re leveraging existing knowledge and resources through highly effective, seamless integration of their supporting systems.”
Keeping Decisions in the Doctor’s Hands
For those who may fear computers taking over health care decisions, Entwistle says there is no need to worry. “We present the information to the doctors, but they need to authorize any action or order,” he says. “A pilot flying a plane has a lot of instrumentation to read, and yes, the computers can fly the plane-but the pilot is ultimately in charge. The instruments allow the pilot to fly as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
Enigma started as a New Zealand-based company and moved to Philadelphia, where BFTP was there to lend a helping hand. “Migrating from a foreign country to the U.S. is quite challenging,” says Entwistle. “BFTP has provided tremendous assistance, helping us with cultural issues, making key introductions to potential partners and investors and providing us with excellent advice on business and strategic issues.”
The Importance of Outside Investment
BFTP invested $129,000 in Enigma between 2004 and 2005-funds used to support Enigma’s pilot program. “The test showed we could implement the system within a physician’s office,” says Entwistle. “In addition to validating and advancing the technology, the test raised our visibility and credibility in the industry.”
Entwistle says additional funding will be key to Enigma’s continued success, and he encourages investors to find out more about the company. “With more investment, we could speed our strategic relationship activities, complete critical reference projects and expand our targeted sales activities to accelerate revenue growth.”
Focusing on Health Risk Assessment
Enigma’s primary target is health networks and large physician groups where economies of scale bring greater per practitioner cost savings and a bigger payday for Enigma. Another way the company is distinguishing itself is by putting extra focus on health risk assessment, identifying individuals who can benefit from focused care management in specific high-growth, high-cost disease areas, namely heart disease and diabetes.
These two specialized areas represent a $750 million-plus annual market. “It’s a very attractive market that is expanding very rapidly,” says Entwistle. “Like the information we provide to doctors, we are in the right place at the right time.”
Keynotes February, 2007
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