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1upHealth Aims To Reduce Hospital Readmissions With Connected Healthcare App

In 2013, the American Hospital Association reported that 17.5% of patients were readmitted to the same or a different hospital within 30 days of being discharged. To address this issue, Ricky Sahu and cofounder Gajen Sunthara teamed together to create 1upHealth to reduce hospital readmissions through their connected healthcare app that allows seamless connectivity between patients, health systems, and health care app developers.

“There’s a move toward value based care in healthcare, which means that health systems and providers are more on the hook for increasing costs while they maintain high quality care,” explains Sahu. “That creates an incentive to know where patients are after discharge.”

Sahu explains that 1upHealth has created a platform for health care app developers to create a unique app demo within minutes that has access to HIPPA compliant clinical data from over 32 health systems across the US. This data is standardized according to the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, or FHIR. Sahu explains “you can create a user, pull in data from external health systems, and see them alive in that app within a minute, and that’s something that has never been possible before in any healthcare tech company.”

On the patient and provider side, the platform allows patients and doctors to access their own data. Formerly patients would have to ask the doctor for access to their own records, and doctors would have to pore over long PDF documents to get a simple updates. Furthermore, there would be multiple portals that patients needed to keep track of in order to manage their data.

The application allows patients and providers secure access to one portal which houses the patient’s profile, messages, timeline of significant events, allergies, immunizations, heart rate (which is measured through linked wearable sensors in smartphones and the apple watch), medication, and medical documents. The app aims to reduce readmission rates by tracking patient data after discharge. In this way, providers can implement preventative care according to an indication from all the linked health systems that may show correlating conditions from similar patients or an indication from the wearable sensors that require a medical assessment rather than a readmission to the hospital.

Sahu admits that he is surprised with the interest he has seen from patients, providers, and app developers in the 7 months since the inception of the company. During this time, Boston Children’s Hospital has invested in 1upHealth, and the startup is working with the hospital’s application and other services internally. Moreover, Sahu cites a couple hundred patients already using the app as well as significant interest from app developers despite a lack of marketing efforts. He attributes some of this success to the awards the company has received including winner of the Health Data Provenance Challenge by the Office of the National Coordinator for the provider app, honorable mention of the Consumer Health Data Aggregator Award by Health and Human Services for the patient app, and 2nd place winner of the Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge by the Office of the National Coordinator for the model privacy notice generator.

Sahu is scheduled to speak for 1upHealth at the Health2.0 conference in Santa Clara, CA in October where he hopes to showcase the need for connected data between health systems and patients as well as the ability for other companies to deploy new health apps using 1upHealth’s platform within days.

Leah D'Sa

    Leah D’Sa is a Junior studying Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College. She is currently a copyeditor for the school newspaper the Berkeley Beacon as well as Poetry Editor for the literary magazine the Emerson Review. She is looking to begin her career with health technology writing as she seeks to combine her lifelong love of writing and science.

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