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Using AI to monitor brain activity at the point-of-care

September 24, 2021
Business Affairs Stroke

HCB News: So how exactly does this help patients?
DM: If you think about physicians at the bedside, especially in the emergency department or even in the ICU, you have critically ill patients, and you want to rapidly diagnose serious conditions and treat them as quickly as possible. And as I mentioned, unfortunately non-convulsive status epilepticus is very prevalent in a lot of conditions seen in emergency departments and ICU's—and there's no way to diagnose it. Now we've given these frontline physicians a tool to help take care of these patients. That's a big change, and that's a big advance in medicine. And as far as the patients, it’s phenomenal for patients. Getting that test done quickly provides rapid detection and therefore quicker treatment. With quicker treatment, ideally there’s a better outcome.

HCB News: Okay, so we have a better sense of how it helps patients. How does this help hospitals with matters like the bottom line and possibly reducing length of stay?

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DM: This technology is game-changing at many different levels. At the hospital level, hospitals are under tremendous pressure to take care of more patients at less expense, and our device is really a low-cost device with high value. It helps extend current conventional EEG coverage and to make the diagnosis quicker. That actually will help decrease the length of stay, and there are studies that clearly demonstrate that. Today, ICUs are overloaded across the country. The standard of care for patients at risk for seizures is to proactively treat without a confirmed diagnosis, putting patients in a sedated state and potentially leading to intubation and transfer to the ICU. Now with Ceribell, we can accurately triage patients and treat and disposition the right ones. We’re seeing reduction in intubation, drug administration, and of course length of stay, all of which decrease cost significantly. On the hospital side, it makes a lot of sense to integrate technology such as ours that will not only improve patient care, help physicians, but also help, as you mentioned, the bottom line in the hospital.

HCB News: That’s encouraging and should get the attention of department heads all the way to CFOs, who are now paying attention to such tricks of the trade. Now let’s get down to how it actually works and the technology behind it.
DM: We have some brilliant engineers based in Silicon Valley who have been working quite intensively for about five years to develop this technology. As I mentioned, conventional EEGs have been around for a long time. But the fact that ours has been designed for point of care is a big departure from current EEG systems. And doing that was quite a technological challenge. Typically when an EEG is performed, you need a technician, and there's a nationwide shortage of those professionals right now. Ceribell has developed an EEG system where no technician is required. It can be placed by any healthcare professional and within five minutes, you're going to have a reading on this small recorder. The fact that we've included a portal with cloud-based computing and an AI algorithm has really rounded out a well-thought-through system that can extend EEG coverage into point of care.

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