Leveraging IT to increase patient safety

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Mayo Clinic’s critical care software is basis of entrepreneur’s company: Ambient Clinical Analytics

Mayo Clinic Ventures is prime hunting ground for entrepreneurs who are looking for new medical technologies that can transform the practice of medicine — just ask Al Berning, a technology veteran and founder and CEO of Ambient Clinical Analytics.

“As an entrepreneur with a background in technology, I wanted to invest in software or enterprise-class hardware in the medical field,” Berning says. “When I was introduced to Mayo Clinic’s AWARE program, I was very impressed. The clinic had been working on the technology for over five years. I knew it would be a powerful support tool for physicians and improve the patient experience.”

Berning decided to build a startup company based on the technology. Ambient Clinical Analytics was founded in 2013 to commercialize AWARE (which stands for Ambient Warning and Response Evaluation) and other support tools for intensive care, operating room and emergency department physicians. In February 2014, the company raised $1.1 million to help commercialize even more Mayo Clinic inventions, now offering three technologies:

  • AWARE — reduces information overload by using analytics to filter and present relevant patient data, allowing more expedient procedures. Physicians spend less time evaluating information and more time caring for patients, improving efficiency and reducing errors.
  • Mayo Clinic YES Board® — this multipatient management tool provides real-time situational awareness for emergency departments and hospital pediatric departments. Used by Mayo Clinic for nearly five years, YES Board allows physicians and staff to check the status of all patients on monitor screens at various locations in the department.
  • Syndromic surveillance — provides “smart alerts” or “sniffers” that identify the presence of sepsis and ventilator-induced lung injury. Other sniffers will be developed in the future.

Better patient outcomes, reduced costs

These Mayo Clinic technologies, which are available as cloud-based tools, give critical care providers real-time access to vital process-of-care information and analytics. By allowing physicians to spend more time with patients instead of reviewing information, these tools will reduce overall health care costs and improve patient outcomes.

Ambient Clinical Analytics continues to seek other technologies that will complement its existing products. “Mayo Clinic Ventures is organized in such a way that it is easy to evaluate technologies, as well as talk to the researchers themselves,” says Berning.

Ambient Clinical Analytics was selected to be part of the Rock Health program, a health care startup accelerator in San Francisco, where it will continue to expand and develop new products.

“Health care providers need efficient and organized tools at their fingertips to increase patient safety and improve the patient experience,” says Berning. “We all want health care operations to be as organized and efficient as possible, especially when emergency departments or intensive care units are involved. We provide the real-time bedside and emergency room technologies that can make this happen.”