Corrine McIsaac, president and CEO, Health Outcomes Worldwide; Nova Scotia Deputy Premier Frank Corbett (Photo Credit: Vaughan Merchant)
Canadian company Health Outcomes Worldwide, which uses mobile tools and record-keeping to promote healthcare best practices, has received a $1.5 million investment from the provincial government of Nova Scotia, bringing the company's total public funding to $2.5 million, according to a report in Canadian newspaper Cape Breton Post.
The New Waterford, Nova Scotia-based company offers mobile tools that help healthcare workers electronically report data to help track treatment and recovery practices, then analyze that data to maximize outcomes and efficiencies. The company incorporated in 2005 and switched from web tools to mobile devices in 2009. Since then it's expanded its offerings from Apple devices to include Android and BlackBerry phones and tablets.
The company's first use case has been in the area of wound care, but they have also completed a module for diabetes management and they are working on chronic disease, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. President Corinne McIsaac told MobiHealthNews that wound care is a complicated area for caretakers like home care nurses (the company's biggest user group) to master.
"Even though there's a large volume of wound cases, it's not really a sexy kind of care treatment," she said. "For whatever reason it's not covered well in curriculums, and not a lot of people in healthcare really know how to take care of these different wound types."
Health Outcomes Worldwide's how2track software has some functional overlap with an EHR, according to McIsaac, but what sets it apart is a huge database of past cases. The database is large enough that the company is beginning to move into predictive analysis.
"We want it to be able to say 'If you do A, B, C, and D, you'll heal the wound in this amount of time and it'll cost you this much money,'" she said.
She said as it develops the additional modules, it might develop into an EHR, or the company might make a practice of integrating with EHRs, something it already does with some clients.
Health Outcomes Worldwide plans to use the funding to grow the company and expand its user base. The company will double its workforce of 15 employees and hopes to expand out of Canada and into the US, possibly starting with Boston and Washington, D.C. -- company executives are visiting those two cities in March to meet with some prospective customers, including some connected to the VA.
"People in the US think everything is free in healthcare in Canada and that's not so, especially with home care. In home care, you do have to pay for some services," McIsaac said. "The pay for performance mantra we see as an absolutely perfect fit, because it would help folks to ensure they're doing the minimum number of visits for the best outcome. We'd love to be able to get into some of these larger home care chains in the US. We see a great fit for our product there."