An Interview with Brett Furst, CEO of ArborMetrix

ArborMetrix is a health care analytics company. It’s objective is to remove the noise from data, and generate actionable insights. Health 2.0 met with Brett Furst, CEO of ArborMetrix, at HIMSS 2014 to learn more about their work. Following are the excerpts from the interview.

Health 2.0: What is ArborMetrix?
Brett Furst: ArborMetrix is a clinical analytics company, focused on performance in acute care and specialty care settings. Our solution is cloud-based, and available as a subscription product. It is used by health systems, health plans, and specialty societies, to identify where variations in care exists and what can be done to resolve it. We collect data on factors like complication rates, device requirements, procedures, etc.; aggregate it, benchmark, and apply a statistical approach to understand the effect on overall quality and cost. Our focus is on improving acute and specialty care through evidence.

Health 2.0: Can you give an example of a use case for your products?
Brett Furst: American Hernia Society uses our solutions to provide clinical registry, quality, and analytical tools to their members. Our analytics end studied the efficiency of meshes used in hernia surgeries, and found that the bio-based mesh, costing about $22000 a piece, was being outperformed by the synthetic mesh, costing about $1200 a piece, and with better outcomes.
Another example is from the Michigan Bariatric Collaborative, where our analytical platform evaluated a particular device used for tracking blood clots. We found that use of this device was increasing mortality instead of decreasing it. Acting upon our findings, Michigan became the safest state to have bariatric surgery, the mortality rates went down from 3 in 1000 to 1 in 10000.

There is significant risk involved when a provider is taking on a large number of patients, or a health plan is writing a value based care program.  They want to know the costs associated with variations in outcomes. We can tell where the best performing providers are, what procedures and devices might be best for the patient, what is medically appropriate, etc. We are the only solution out there that can provide this information.

Health 2.0: Are there any significant barriers to entry?
Brett Furst: There is still a large amount of unstructured data that could give us valuable information. We are looking to partner with technologies around image processing that can help us decipher those. Surprisingly, we did not encounter much hesitation from physicians and surgeons, they were eager to embrace the technology that could help improve their performace. Providing additional incentives through policy changes can get more doctors to sign up for the registry, and help us generate additional data to make the results more actionable and insightful.

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