New Health IT Initiative Takes Cognitive Medical Beyond Military

Doug Burke, president of Cognitive Medical Systems, tells me this morning the San Diego-based health IT startup is implementing a wireless clinical support system for the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina. The startup will integrate its health IT system and analytics platform with handheld devices that doctors and other health care providers can use to improve the care of mothers and infants admitted to the labor and delivery and neonatal intensive care units of participating hospitals.

The initiative represents a departure from the military market that Cognitive Medical initially targeted, which includes consulting, program administration, project management, software engineering, and database design.

“Our goal was always to cut our teeth on the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Administration [programs], but we ultimately want to be selling products to commercial markets as well,” Burke says. “With the downturn in the DoD budget, it’s not a bad thing to be doing.”

In North Carolina, Burke says a key element will be clinical decision support software that helps doctors and other caregivers make better clinical decisions about perinatal care. The system is intended to eliminate time-consuming delays in collecting and analyzing health data, reduce paper reports and communications, and to make it easier to share information with families.

The North Carolina collaborative consists of a wide array of maternal and newborn care providers, health insurers, public health agencies, and others throughout the state. The organization has conducted initiatives that have reduced the number of less-than-full-term deliveries in 40 North Carolina hospitals by 43 percent and decreased the number of catheter-associated infections by 75 percent in 13 neonatal intensive care units.

Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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