Atrius Health, Verily team to better treat heart failure patients

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Atrius Health, New England’s largest independent medical group, has partnered with Alphabet’s life sciences division Verily to better treat heart failure patients and reduce their risk of hospitalization.

Working together, the two organizations will analyze Atrius Health’s population health data to discover clinical drivers of hospitalizations among these patients.

Ultimately, the goal is to develop new tools to help clinicians intervene earlier with different types of heart failure patients to reduce emergency department visits.

“We look forward to collaborating with Verily to enhance the patient experience, and reduce the overall cost of care by keeping our patients healthy in their communities rather than in the hospital,” said Steve Strongwater, MD, president and CEO of Atrius Health, in a written statement. “This initiative will enable us to dive deep into the underlying challenges faced by our patients with heart failure and to deploy new tools and interventions that provide them the right care when they need it.”

According to Verily, the vendor “develops tools and devices to collect, organize and activate health data, and creates interventions to prevent and manage disease.”

Joe Kimura, MD, chief medical officer at Atrius Health, contends that the partnership with Verily is the latest population health management effort by the healthcare organization to “use data more aggressively” for the restratification of patients by leveraging analytics.

“In the complexity of congestive heart failure management, you need to look at a lot of different inputs to try to figure out how you can help the patient by getting the right triggers at the right time,” says Kimura. “It’s beyond just clinical data, but triggering data like ADT feeds that are really key.”

Kimura notes that Atrius Health decided to focus on heart failure patients “in the interests of not boiling the ocean” and because the healthcare organization has population health and clinical expertise in that area of patient care.

“We ourselves already have internally built a lot of risk prediction algorithms,” Kimura adds. “Keeping patients healthy so they don’t need to go to the emergency department or hospital—that’s the prime directive. Analytics drives a lot of that and the better the analytics are the more effective we’re going to be in that space.”

He provides the analogy of a massive air traffic control system in which clinicians are “trying to match the right situation for the right patient with the right set of interventions.”

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