Catching up with Challenge Winner Axial

Axial Exchange won The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT’s and Health 2.0’s Ensuring Safe Transitions from Hospital to Home Challenge back in December. I spoke with Axial’s Vice President of Marketing Matt Mattox about what the company has been up to since.

Axial has been around since 2009 with Axial Alerts, a system that provides primary care physicians with summaries of their patients’ emergency room and hospital visits. Axial is based in North Carolina where it first deployed the service to WakeMed Health and Hospitals, a system with about about 800 beds.

Mattox said after December, Axial closed a deal with a Hospital Corporation of America  hospital in Colorado, and Axial has received interest from several other hospitals across the country.

“Some of the best-known names in health care have come out of the woodwork to say hey, we’d be glad to take a look at what you have, and we believe that a lot of that interest was unlocked once we were announced as the winner,” Mattox said.

Axial incorporated its original alerts system in its challenge submission, but the final product was Axial’s Care Transitions Suite, which included a patient application. Before patients are discharged, the app allows them to make follow-up appointments, understand their medications and learn what to take and when. You can watch the video below the fold for an overview of the entire suite.

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission estimated that Medicare spends $12 billion on hospital readmissions each year. Not all of these readmissions are avoidable, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services encourages innovations that could help reduce the number of those that are.

Mattox said that getting patients involved in their own recovery is key to reducing avoidable readmissions.

“That was kind of on our minds, on our road map already. But this contest gave us the impetus,” he said.

Innovation that can potentially impact huge programs like Medicare happens even at the scrappy startup scale, Mattox said. Getting a little bit of recognition helps to make that point.

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