Analytical Informatics, Inc., a company aiming to revolutionize data management in health care, is the latest spinoff company from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), says Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, assistant vice president for technology transfer.
He announced the launch at the recent "UM Ventures Symposium on Entrepreneurship," held at the University of Maryland BioPark.
"We are very excited about Analytical Informatics' potential, not just as a near term radiology solutions tool, but also for its broader applications for enhancing access to clinical information." says Robilotto.
Company CEO and co-founder Christopher Meenan says as "cool" software tools become available from his company, they will provide physicians, quality leaders, and other clinicians with real-time access to vital clinical information across many systems to help them improve clinical quality and efficiency.
When Meenan came to the health care profession several years ago, he was struck by the "many different islands" of information isolated within health care organizations. "In many hospitals, the lab system [of data management) is different than the radiology information system is different than the surgery information system. Those systems don't easily share data back and forth," he says.
"One of our goals is having our tools give the physicians and other clinicians the capability to access data from across disparate systems. That provides a more global view of what's happening and can help them take better care of patients."
Meenan is a research associate and director of clinical informatics for the Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Meenan joined the department in 2003 and with his team built a number of software tools to help radiologists and administrators look at different kinds of information.
"Radiologists are often pretty geeky,: says Meenan, "and they have great ideas on how to use technology to improve patient care. With our love of creating great software, we had a perfect match. After getting positive feedback from other universities, Meenan decided to form a startup.
According to UMB's Nancy Cowger, PhD, senior technology licensing officer, "This team works together every day to devise new solutions to help the department operate smoothly and effectively for staff and patients alike. For example, the team created a new program that allows staff to view in a graphical format the operational details for each of the department's busy CT and MRI scanners with ease of interpretation and a chance to improve communication among the staff."
Cowger said the team, (pictured left to right) of Max Warnock of University Physicians, Inc., Meenan, Mark Daly, and Christopher Toland of the University of Maryland Medical System, "see a great need at other hospitals for their innovative software solutions."
Meenan says, "I really believe in the promise that better information technology can play a big role in improving the delivery of health care. It's very expensive for organizations to do systems integrations today, and clinical IT teams are inundated with requests for new projects and more information."
Another data trouble area in hospitals is in keeping contact databases accurate-another opportunity for "cool" software tools from Analytical Informatics, says Meenan. "Over the past couple of years, we have built glue-like systems so that we can help doctors access data across systems and provide better information on contacts."