A Breath of Fresh Air
Healthcare is a field with unique challenges, but the BlackBelt team still manages to be proactive, to internalise the client’s mindset and to steer the course of the development in the most efficient direction. The MEDinnovest project can improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of patients.
Three hundred thousand. That is the number of people in Hungary suffering from asthma. That’s no small number. That number would be similar to the entire population of Iceland all having the same illness. Those who are familiar with this inflammatory disease of the airways know how important all the little things that have the potential to improve the quality of life are. The issue is even more challenging for children because it is harder to collect information that is crucial for care (e.g. Breathing difficulty, the frequency of coughing). Decisions concerning therapy have to be taken following lung function (breathing) tests and questions about the patient’s condition at meetings with the doctors that take place 1-3 times a month.
WELL-FOUNDED DECISIONS, BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE
However, there is a new solution that could be helpful to both patients and their doctors. MEDinnovest in cooperation with the Svábhegyi Children’s Clinic developed a new kind of asthma care model. “The idea of our system is that it is possible to continuously monitor the patient’s status and collect information on a daily basis with the help of customisable, cloud-based software that is guided by a care protocol in alignment with the patient’s condition and complemented by a mobile application. The kids are given a portable spirometer that we have developed, which is then connected to a mobile phone, allowing them to check their own breathing function at home. The results are immediately transmitted to a central database. We have also added morning and evening time questionnaires; the patient records their answers regularly. Their therapist can then access the resulting information from anywhere through the internet” explains Mr Géza Ragoncsa, Medical Technologies and Services Business Unit Director at MEDin-novest, the company responsible for this innovation.
The real value inherent in this solution is that a larger amount of more reliable information will become available to the doctor than ever before, allowing them to set the right therapy and medication regime more precisely. After all, the amount of medication does make big a difference, and it is especially so in the case of children. The goal is to facilitate better decision making and ultimately to improve the quality of life.
This is how it works in practice. Once the software is installed at a clinic, the doctor registers the patient in the system, and customises the care protocol as needed (e.g. Frequency of questions). At that point, the patient only has to download the application and then provide the requested information whenever prompted.
Created in 2014, MEDinnovest is the integrator within the group for all the paediatric care, clinical R&D and the medical device development needed in their field of specialisation.
This particular project was brought to life with BlackBelt, which was responsible for developing the central software and the mobile application. Ragoncsa recalls that the reason for choosing them was that among all the companies invited to apply they were deemed to be the best at understanding the task. He emphasises, they were satisfied with both the “reaction times” and the favourable value for money. “It was evident that all the members of the team really loved what they were doing. Professionalism was important to them in the work they were doing, and that’s what they delivered. They were enthusiastic and their standards were high and what is perhaps the most important thing to me, that when it comes to application development they really wanted to put themselves in our situation, which they managed to do, and were attentive to our business needs. There is no other attitude that makes it possible to develop financially successful software.”
MEDinnovest does not only develop medical devices or software, but a complete service package. Meanwhile, their joint work with BlackBelt continues on a new project. This project focuses on audio analysis, working towards a solution where useful information could be extracted from the sound of the child’s coughing, crying and heartbeat, and delivered to parents and doctors.
Close collaboration also resulted in greatly increasing the BlackBelt team members’ professional competence in the healthcare and medical fields, allowing them to assist the client with advice and suggestions concerning the use of the product and the development of realistic processes.