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Stasis Labs

Stasis Labs is a Los Angeles based startup that partners with medical institutions to provide doctors with remote monitoring and predictive artificial intelligence technology that anticipates when an emergency situation will arise before it occurs. I sat down with the company’s founder and president, Michael Maylahn, to discuss Stasis’ innovative approach to healthcare and what’s next for the company.

The cloud-based patient monitoring system.

The Patient-Nurse Gap

Regardless of their condition, each patient deserves the best possible treatment while in the hospital. In many institutions today, it is often the case that patients receive lackluster attention and minimal care from nurses and physicians on-duty. If a patient expects a guarantee of constant monitoring while being checked in at a medical facility, he or she will only be given one if unlucky enough to find themselves in an intensive care unit (ICU). In these wards, where only patients who are in the most critical of states are kept, nurses constantly check on each patient’s vitals while machines taking measurements for the patient are instantly alerted if the slightest irregularity is detected. In every other hospital ward, however, this constant supervision guarantee is non-existent.

If a patient is staying in any other ward at a medical facility, nurses come to check vital signs anywhere from every 4 to 8 hours. This means that not only could something go wrong during this interval and a nurse or physician could arrive at the scene late, but the data that nurses receive when they record the patient’s vitals are incomplete; these vitals are only indicative of the patient’s state at that point in time, but do not necessarily shed light on how the patient has been doing.

What if it were possible to close this gap of time when patients are and are not being monitored? What if every patient could receive the same assurance as if they were in the ICU?

Stasis Labs has created a “smart patient monitoring system,” composed of both hardware and software that provide this assurance. Whereas most traditional and up-and-coming healthcare companies either choose to focus on either hardware or software, Maylahn views Stasis as a “software-data company,” where their hardware gathers data — patients’ vital signs — and uses AI-driven software to monitor, predict, and report this data to physicians. Instead of nurses having to manually record vital signs in fixed intervals, doctors are now able to monitor their patients remotely on their phones. This not only makes the patient’s experience safer, but the entire medical ecosystem more efficient, as doctors and nurses can now devote more time to other, less monotonous tasks.

“An example could be is if a doctor is in the operating room, scrubbed in and de-sanitized, and they get an alert that they have a patient who is critical. They can check right on their phones while they are scrubbed in, without having to leave the operating room and go to that patient. The ease to be able to check in remotely allows the doctors to be more proactive to determine issues, and ultimately if there is an issue, find an intervention a lot earlier than they would have done already.”

– Michael Maylahn, Founder and President of Stasis

The Stasis app monitors the following patient vital signs. When a vital is green, there is no reason for intervention. When an irregularity occurs, the vital symbol will turn yellow send an alert to the physician.

The Incumbent Patient-Monitoring System

The existing healthcare market for patient monitoring is well established. The traditional hardware that exists for this purpose are commonly supplied by large healthcare manufacturer companies such as Phillips, GE Healthcare, and Natus Medical. The market for these devices is projected to reach $25.31 Billion by 2023 from $19.14 Billion in 2018, largely driven by the demand for wireless monitoring devices, the growth of lifestyle and chronic diseases, and an increasing demand for patient monitoring in non-hospital settings. Additionally, as the demand for more patient monitoring devices grows, the majority of these devices which individually monitor specific vital signs and the demand for devices that monitor many vital signs at once, such as the product offered by Stasis Labs, should also see significant growth.

What the app looks like for physicians monitoring patients.

Today’s global population is aging rapidly. As for the global elderly population, 8.5% of people worldwide are aged 65, and the number will grow to nearly 17% of the world’s population by 2050. Furthermore, the US population aged 65 and over is projected to double over the next decade, from 48 million to 88 million by 2050. With this massive proportional increase in aging worldwide comes an increase in age-related illnesses, and therefore the importance for adequate and innovative patient monitoring technology.

Currently, Stasis Labs is established in India, where they have partnered with over “20 health systems.” The Indian medical market, as Maylahn notes, has a “big need and opportunity,” where there are “1.25 billion people, a very fast growing middle-class,” and is a market which is opportune for “quicker, sooner, and cheaper” penetration. While Stasis Labs is planning on entering US medical markets in the near future, India has given them the opportunity to grow and capitalize on an equally demanding market overseas.

“Right now we are making predictions of an event 20 minutes before they happen, with high accuracy. When we make a prediction that something may go wrong, that notification goes to the mobile app.”

– Michael Maylahn, Founder and President of Stasis

Healthcare Entrepreneurs

Dinesh Seemakurty and Michael Maylahn

Michael Maylahn and his co-founder and CEO, Dinesh Seemakurty, founded Stasis Labs in 2015 when they were students at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Maylahn explains that finding mentors at Viterbi was crucial in the early days of the company, and competing in business planning competitions — in which the company won first place more than five times — was important for obtaining early, non-dilutive funding.

The problem that Maylahn and Seemakurty initially decided to target was the discrepancy between “reactive and proactive care.” As Maylahn describes, today’s healthcare model is currently oriented around reactive care. Reactive care involves reacting to a situation, such as, for example, nurses rushing into a patient’s room to shock them back to life after they have entered cardiac arrest and their heart rate has already dropped. Stasis Labs’ aim is to implement a proactive care model, where their device detects instantly or even beforehand when something might go wrong. In this model, the Stasis app and its AI would have anticipated the patient’s heart rate declining and notified nurses or physicians so that they could arrive to the scene before cardiac arrest occurs. Maylahn believes that the future of healthcare involves a more sustainable model of proactive care.

As for Seemakurty, the inspiration for this company came from an unfortunate past incident. As Maylahn recounted on behalf of his co-founder, Seemakurty was at the hospital with his grandfather when the incident happened. As time passed and there was no cause for concern, the nurses in the hospital made their scheduled rounds and checked-in on his grandfather every 6 hours. At one of these 6-hour intervals, the nurse discovered that his grandfather’s blood oxygen level was critically low. In a very sudden turn of events, his grandfather’s health seemed to spiral out-of-control, and he passed away soon thereafter. According to Maylahn, nobody on the scene had any idea why this had happened, and there seemed to be a large information gap as a result of these 6-hour check-in intervals.

“Leveraging modern technology to go from reactive to proactive care is really the focus of the company.”

– Michael Maylahn, Founder and President of Stasis

The Long-term Blueprint for Stasis Labs

Since their founding in 2015, Stasis Labs’ traction has been significant. Along with their partnering of over 20 medical institutions overseas, they have demonstrated in clinical studies “large improvements financially, clinically, and operationally,” for how their technology can change the patient monitoring status quo. In addition to the funding they have received from winning business competitions, they have also closed multiple rounds of seed funding, including a $5 million investment from RTP-Healthcare Ventures.

As for Stasis’ future, currently the company’s main focus is on scaling. As they grow their business, domestically and abroad, Maylahn is focusing on expanding their sales process and standardizing their business plan for new markets. Although they have already found success in India, they will need to adjust their procedures for new markets such as the US, where Maylahn wants to make sure that their product “fits in the right way.” As Maylahn notes, “[w]e have done it once in India, and we will do it again.”

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