Stuart Long: Paving a Path for Virtual Telemetry

Stuart Long, CEO, Infobionic

Experiencing the transformative shifts of rapidly scaling technology in the medical device industry, Stuart Long considers himself fortunate to have worked directly with cutting-edge products in his career. Today, as the CEO of InfoBionic, he emphasizes the company’s commitment to widespread market adoption of its transformative wireless remote patient monitoring platform for chronic disease management.

From witnessing the shift away from video cassettes to digital video clips in cardiology, from floppy disk to cardiac DICOM images, then the switch from radiology film to PACS, from client-server network systems (in healthcare) to fully web-based, rom paper base insulin dosing to AI-driven dosing, Stuart was a part of it all.

Several challenges Stuart overcame mainly centered around the change in clinician workflow and changing hearts and minds about how to do something innovatively. Convincing clinicians it is better for how they deliver care and the patients who receive it is probably the most challenging thing one can try to do in delivering novel technologies and solutions to the healthcare arena. He shares, “Over time, I’ve worked with some extremely talented people who have solved some big clinical challenges that have plagued the industry for decades. Think of it like snail mail, floppy disks, and fax machines compared to Dropbox, Netflix, Amazon, and instant or on-demand digital delivery. Imagine what it will look like in another ten years!”

Committed to Transformation

InfoBionic streams ‘full disclosure’ data, meaning 100% of the heartbeats 100% of the time, utilizing curated AI to continuously improve the cloud-based processing for arrhythmia and assist in the organization and presentation of data.

The company’s mission is to put the control of monitoring patients back into the hands of the providers, as for a long time, most remote cardiac monitoring has been outsourced to vendors. Its model is to intermediate the ‘middleman’ and give clinicians control over the direct care of their patients and, more importantly, total control and access to all their patient’s data.

InfoBionic has made significant progress and has substantiated that the cardiology clinical community prefers this new opportunity to improve the ability to diagnose patients with efficient workflow and increase clinically rich data.

Differentiated by Quality

InfoBionic has proved a dramatic decrease in time to diagnose the problem leading to faster treatment and intervention, dramatically improving the quality of care and patient experience while simultaneously reducing cost by gaining speed to access, review, diagnose and treat patients.

On numerous occasions, lives have been saved by the quick intervention of their cardiologist using InfoBionic’s solutions. Further, it has developed a relationship with the Mayo Clinic, which acts as the technology platform for the initiative to provide remote cardiac monitoring services for non-Mayo Clinic facilities. They are the first clinical provider to enter the market as a remote cardiac monitoring service and demonstrate the shift to providing clinical care versus the traditional vendor-provided services.

The Technical Leverage

Stuart states that, as with any technology that can sustain itself for longevity, it is either adapted or faded away. He mentions, “If the last few years have taught us one thing, it is that healthcare is changing. Care models are transforming, and providers are doing more in a virtual setting than ever. Reimbursement paradigms are shifting to put value first. And clinicians are challenged to navigate all this without losing focus on the patient. To support this new world of healthcare, telemetry must also adapt.”

Fortunately, technological advances in cloud computing infrastructure, cellular-based communication achieving ‘land-line’ speeds, and broader inside facility coverage with cellular distributed antennae systems, device component miniaturization, and low energy power consumption exists. Many new and novel avenues exist today that didn’t exist just five short years ago.

InfoBionic reimagined accepted norms for cardiac arrhythmia detection with a full disclosure model built upon the principles of unwavering quality and continual innovation. Carrying the legacy forward, the company is making another bold foray into the future of virtual healthcare, leveraging the previous innovation introduced to the market and capitalizing on today’s new and improved technologies. It evolves from proven, tried, and accurate methods and systems vs. starting from scratch.

The company is introducing new technology ensuring all acuity levels can be monitored in a virtual care environment with the first continuous virtual telemetry platform: The MoMe™ ARC Platform. Built with the same standards of quality and innovation that have earned them the trust of cardiology leaders, the MoMe™ ARC Platform hands power back to clinicians while enabling them to step confidently into the future of virtual care.

Setting Up for the Future

Stuart expresses that the next significant change is still in its infancy. Yet, with CMS’s support and hospital-at-home initiatives, the shift from clinical care to virtual care establishes its foundation and foothold. He adds that one factor cannot be denied about this horrendous COVID-19 pandemic: It has changed healthcare for the better—an increase of 6,000% in telehealth visits and a pivotal shift toward hospital-at-home care, among other changes. Innovative technology—especially in remote cardiac telemetry—has surged with these developments.

Stuart mentions that the idea of traditional reimbursement and economic models that are decades old and could or would apply to current and future monitoring technologies doesn’t make logical sense. Technology needs to adapt to new and improved care models, as do the economic models. “A shift to value-based care where we do away with the existing ‘lines in the sand’ and implement models that align all constituents (payers, providers, and patients). The idea that up to 4 different kinds of diagnostic remote cardiac monitoring models, each with their own set of complex rules and reimbursement, is outdated and almost prohibits moving forward to value-based care. The idea that a single system can start in the hospital and move to the home or virtual care environment and provide ‘one kind’ of monitoring that comes with a single economic model that can align all the constituents is… well… exactly what the doctor ordered,” he explains.

Bequeathing Brilliance

Stuart shares a piece of advice for entrepreneurs. He says, “A great product is nothing without the people who can solve the problem – solving a problem and finding the right people are the most important things you need to start. Yet never forget, you can’t do it without people. First and foremost, focus on your people. When the company’s mission becomes the employee’s mission… they stop showing up to work and start showing up to be part of your movement. Ten extremely engaged teammates are substantially more productive and way more fun to work with than 50 moderately engaged employees.”

He also adds a few pointers:

  • Cash is king. Expense should follow revenue.
  • When precision is required, slow down.
  • Do not stagnate — else, you get left behind. Always keep a beginner’s mindset, no matter how much you master. You’re always at the beginning of the next level, no matter your level.
  • Have fun — stay optimistic — if you’re not laughing and having fun, it is not your passion.
  • Fail often and fail fast — treat failure as a goal. Learn how to pivot or persevere. The road to success is littered with failure. Embrace and learn from it, and then do not repeat it.