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‘GPS for heath’ Wellbe aims to make surgery less terrifying

Image Credit: Flickr user isafmedia

Undergoing surgery involves a lot more than the hours spent on the operating table, so Wellbe has developed a “GPS for health.”

Wellbe is developing technology that gives patients greater awareness and control over the entire surgical process and helps hospitals improve the care experience. The health-tech startup has raised $1.4 million to build out its Patient Guidance System (PGS) and suite of “Guided CarePath” solutions.

CEO James Dias said in a blog post that the rise of the “e-patient” presents a wealth of opportunities to empower patients through technology and improve the surgical process for everyone involved.

“Hospitals need innovative solutions that help drive more value in their care programs, including reducing length of stay, improving patient satisfaction, readmissions reduction, and volume growth,” he said.

Surgeons, doctors, and nurses have control in the operating room, but procedures start with the initial evaluations and end with exit surveys. Along the way, patients have to make decisions, schedule their procedures, learn about what to expect, follow pre-admission guidelines for nutrition, go through pre-op testing, plan for their discharge, and then adhere to a course of treatment.

The process is complicated and stressful and can provoke anxiety. There is a lot to consider, and care providers generally don’t have the bandwidth to be there every step of the way.

This is where Wellbe steps in.

Its online PGS gives patients 24-hour access to relevant information and resources. Each stage of the treatment involves educational guidance, instructions, decision support, tips, and feedback, presented in simple checklists with email reminders to keep patients on track. Patients can also use secure messaging and video conferencing from the browser to connect with their care teams.

Hospitals are facing new cost pressures from reduced reimbursements, as well as a demand from patients for greater access to information. The PGS takes some of the load off doctors and nurses by putting part of the care process online.

The goal is to improve efficiency, quality of care, and outcomes. If care providers are spending less time on tasks that can be digitized, they have more time to spend on direct care. The PGS also makes it easier for patients to follow treatment directions closely.

1 in 12 adults discharged in the United States is readmitted within 30 days, adding $16 billion to the cost of healthcare in the U.S. Wellbe claims its PGS leads to  meaningful results.

The PGS is flexible and can be adapted to different surgical procedures.

Earlier this year, Wellbe released specific solutions for total joint replacement and sports medicine surgeries. Additional service lines will be available this year.

Wellbe is based in Madison, Wisconsin. It has not disclosed the names of investors in this funding round.

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