Inside Waqaas Al-Siddiq’s mission to change the face of healthcare

Healthcare

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A pre-diabetic himself, Waqaas Al-Siddiq, the Founder and CEO of Biotricity, is well aware of the burden of constant care. He says, “It’s shaped my awareness of chronic illness and as a result, I’m on a lifelong mission to bring cutting edge technologies to people for preventative healthcare.”

Today, healthcare is undergoing a paradigm shift, with many procedures moving out of hospitals and into outpatient centers, and even into the home. Founded in 2016 in Redwood City, California, Biotricity aims to revolutionize this shift by ensuring that patients and physicians alike are armed with remote monitoring solutions, reducing patient risk and improving care. 

“Passive recording and intermittent follow-up create a lot of risks, and we can’t afford that mediocre standard of care anymore,” asserts Al-Siddiq.

“We are already thinking of next-generation technology for procedures that have yet to be transitioned from inpatient to outpatient.”

The goal is to revolutionize remote medical monitoring and chronic care management by providing real-time feedback, helping people manage their health, and improving health outcomes for a variety of chronic illnesses. In simple terms, the company designs, manufactures, and brings to market innovative remote patient monitoring solutions that produce better and more accurate data to manage patient health. The platform has been built for both diagnostic monitoring and post-diagnostic chronic care solutions. It is comprised of three key components:

  • an IoT hardware with built-in cellular connectivity,

  • an embedded Real-Time Operating System (RTOS),

  • and the cloud for analysis and management of both data and devices.

“We believe the future of healthcare is in connected medical devices that produce data leveraged by both physicians and individuals. We envision these devices will be further integrated with big data and machine intelligence to drive better care and outcomes. For physicians, this means better and more accurate diagnostics through summarized reports that aid in treatment decisions and the diagnostic process. For individuals, the data will form the foundation of a personalized virtual healthcare team, tailored specifically to their medical needs. This care management solution will provide continuous feedback, including advice on how to improve overall health. Our devices will quantify biometric changes, analyze the data, and suggest new steps to improve health,” says Al-Siddiq.

Waqaas Al-Siddiq, Founder & CEO, Biotricity

The Bioflux®, their flagship product, is the first application built around these components where they have tailored their IoT hardware, RTOS and cloud for the diagnostic cardiac market. It is a single-unit mobile cardiac telemetry (MCT) device that demonstrates high-precision and transmission of ambulatory patients’ ECG information. Al-Siddiq further explains, “It is a complete solution for remote cardiac monitoring that merges seamlessly with physicians’ existing platforms and workflows. Unlike most of our competitors, we have a global platform, three channels of ECG, and complete arrhythmia detection.” As a four-in-one monitoring solution and the only one of its kind in the market, Bioflux® offers MCT, Event, Holter, and extended Holter studies. It is a compact and easily adaptable device with a quick emergency response.

The Bioflux® technology has been long approved by the FDA and is quite popular among doctors all across the country. Al-Siddiq mentions enthusiastically, “Just recently, our Bioflux® was able to detect new-onset atrial fibrillation in a patient, and our team contacted the patient straightaway and had her go to a hospital for immediate care. This is a great example of how real-time remote patient monitoring can catch emergent and high-risk health complications and set the patient on the path to preventative care.”

The company is planning to extend this technology to the consumer market. At present, Biotricity is working on developing their “Biocentrix” solution, a personal heart monitor for people who are at risk for cardiovascular disease, or who are already struggling with some sort of heart issue. Unlike lifestyle wearables, Biocentrix will provide consumers with the same clinical information regarding their heart’s performance that their doctor uses. Biotricity is also expanding into other preventative healthcare markets. Al-Siddiq explains, “We’re planning to leverage our proprietary remote patient monitoring platform for various industries, and plans are underway to pipeline new solutions across a spectrum of health applications, including remote COPD monitoring, fetal monitoring, sleep apnea monitoring, and other chronic conditions. We received ethics approval to investigate mobile wireless fetal monitoring in 2017, and in March of this year (2019), our University of Calgary-based R&D program commenced collecting clinical data for both our fetal/maternal and ambulatory adult heart rate variability (HRV) monitoring systems.”

What Al-Siddiq is doing, is, in fact, huge: putting health management into the hands of the individual. But he is not unaware of the unique challenges that arise while leading a healthcare revolution. One possible negative consequence that he actively circumvents with their technology is the surplus of data.

Al-Siddiq says, “We synthesize and summarize information in a way that makes it easier for physicians to absorb that information, and to pull meaningful data. We work with physicians every step of the way to overcome this hurdle. Another challenge we encounter is patient compliance. Here, too, we make sure to work with patients personally to better understand how we can improve usability, so that our technology ensures ease of use and becomes intuitive and user-friendly.”

Also, as healthcare gets squeezed, a major risk develops around reimbursement changes. The only way for Al-Siddiq to handle that squeeze is to innovate in such a way that it cuts down costs. Therefore, their focus remains on reducing the costs through technology and automation. “The mega-trend we see influencing our corporate strategy is the shift in healthcare from in-hospital treatments to outpatient treatments. Here, we have focused on areas where monitoring is important to look at patient risk and early discharge. As such, we are already thinking of next-generation technology for procedures that have yet to be transitioned from inpatient to outpatient,” says Al-Siddiq. “We want to stay ahead of the curve!” 

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