Mpirik Expands Orthopedic Software Suite, Aided by $1.7M Investment
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interact with patients before surgery by sending text messages or e-mails reminding the patient, for example, to stop taking certain medications before surgery and to fast the night before the operation.
During the procedure, loved ones in the waiting room are given a tablet device that receives electronic messages sent by a doctor or nurse from a smartphone in the operating room. These messages are written ahead of time so they can be quickly and easily sent out every 15 minutes at the push of a button, so as not to impede the surgery. The messages might mark the stage of surgery and indicate how the patient is doing, Ela says. “It takes away the anxiety around waiting,” she adds.
It also increases efficiency because nurses don’t have to make a phone call from the operating room to the waiting room, and loved ones are free to move about the hospital or clinic. Family and friends who aren’t present can also receive the surgery updates via text message or e-mail.
Patients continue to receive electronic messages after the surgery, such as notes of encouragement or reminders to schedule a follow-up appointment.
Next, Mpirik intends to turn Ori into a two-way communication program, so patients could send texts to the doctor’s office. “Every hospital and healthcare system is looking to enhance their communication with patients,” and text messaging is “the way most people prefer to communicate right now,” Ela says.
But won’t doctors and office staff be inundated with messages? Mpirik says it will be manageable because the plan is for an administrative employee at the hospital or clinic to serve as the gatekeeper of messages coming through Ori. That means routine pre- and post-operation communication, like filling prescriptions or scheduling appointments, would go to the appropriate staff member, while clinical questions would get flagged for a doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse, Bartnicki says. “Doctors and nurses are only notified when they have to be,” he says. Ori “will make it much easier for office staff to manage the patient communication that they’re now getting via phone,” Ela adds.
The bigger picture is that Ori would become another source of data to help hospitals and clinics improve patient care, Ela says. For example, if a doctor’s office frequently receives complaints of nausea a couple days after surgery, the doctor could begin to proactively prescribe anti-nausea medication for patients, Bartnicki says. “It will help physicians more efficiently manage their practice while increasing patient satisfaction,” Ela says.
Mpirik is targeting orthopedics first because of its founder’s expertise and because the number of orthopedic surgeries is expected to rise with an aging population, Ela says. But the company’s technology could be applied to other areas of healthcare. Mpirik is “trying to stay focused” and make its products “work flawlessly for orthopedics, and then explore the other market opportunities,” she says.