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Sudden cardiac arrest avoidance through collaboration and AI

Vizient, Medtronic and Mpirik are teaming up to fight SCA

An estimated 350,000 episodes of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) episodes happen annually. Without intervention, 95% of those cases result in death. Advancing at-risk patients to the right specialists quickly is an essential early step in SCA avoidance. But clinicians don’t always see the indicators of SCA threat. Even when doctors identify the signs and order electrophysiologist (EP) follow-up, many patients who start to feel better fail to follow through with the EP and they can fall off the radar for necessary follow-up and life-saving procedures.

The implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) offers a solution to high-risk patients through a minor surgical procedure with years of positive results. In the majority of cases, these Medicare-supported procedures result in favorable patient outcomes—but a lack of technological and human resources to successfully track and engage patients at risk can unfortunately limit what providers can do. Three uniquely positioned health care companies plan to use key medical data and consistent methodology to find and refer heart patients to specialists before SCA occurs.

Proactive medicine supported by AI

Heart implantable device manufacturer Medtronic, Vizient’s aptitude division, and software developer Mpirik, have joined forces to employ artificial intelligence (AI) to help clinicians respond to dangerous patient conditions that could lead to SCA. Vizient Associate Principal Doug Beinborn said that the players are laser-focused on reducing the continued prevalence of SCA while demonstrating the effectiveness of health care AI.

“It’s all about the underserved populations and building the products and solutions required to resolve this community need,” Beinborn said.

Utilizing Mpirik’s software with Vizient member data in a high-visibility, high-engagement trial will bring theoretical discussions into reality and save lives. Beinborn said earlier efforts to reduce occurrence of SCA have primarily consisted of education campaigns from device suppliers and heart specialists. The new program fits right in with aptitude’s focus on more strategic ways to support initiatives of Vizient’s key portfolio suppliers.

Mpirik CEO, Logan Brigman, highlights the special relationship and the benefits all around, “We see this initiative, where powerful and innovative companies come together to drive vastly improved patient outcomes, as the future of health care.

The unique collaboration will bring uniformity to the process of finding more patients at risk for SCA so that heart specialists can confidently provide data-driven, proactive treatment.

Data points and diagnoses

Mpirik’s Cardiac Intelligence™ mines key patient data throughout health care networks based on specific risk indicators and provides follow-up direction for providers. Patient echocardiograms, physician notes, and other key data will determine which patients receive immediate attention.

Because Mpirik’s AI engine incorporates patient scheduling along with individuals’ health screening data, the software also finds those who haven’t scheduled appropriate treatment or follow-up. Clinicians can easily view their patient populations and receive automated alert notifications on patients who need follow-up.

Beinborn said he and other clinicians at Vizient advanced the opportunity for collaboration when Medtronic and Mpirik expressed particular interest in data pointing to SCA risk. “This is a problem our members are facing, and now we have a solution,” explained Beinborn.

Patient follow-up has been especially challenging following cardiac events, Beinborn said. CMS guidelines for ICD coverage often require patients to wait at least 40 or 90 days before being considered for the implant procedure based on clinical presentation. The primary reason why patients don’t get ICDs when needed, he stated, is incorrect referral and treatment responses or loss to follow-up.

Mpirik’s AI tool can not only find at-risk patients, but it also adds speed to tracking and expedited care for those who need it most.

“Our Proven cardiac chronic care management program, Cardiac Intelligence™ has successfully screened over 1 million patient record to ensure appropriate and timely follow-ups. We accomplished this by assessing over 50 million data points that we’ve extracted from free text using our proprietary, home-grown natural language processing engine.” said Brigman.

An opportunity for bright outcomes

Vizient, Medtronic and Mpirik are poised for success in the new venture. Medtronic and Mpirik have perfected the intelligent software during a two-year relationship.  As the largest U.S. health care data and purchasing solutions provider, Vizient has contractual relationships with 95% of the country’s academic medical centers and 60% of American hospitals.

As five Vizient members pilot the software within their patient populations in August, all three companies hope to successfully utilize data to solve the ongoing issue of untreated at-risk heart patients and unnecessary occurrence of SCA. Aptitude will continue to share the opportunity to adopt the AI software with additional members after the trials begin.

Successful patient outcomes rely on early detection, highly engaged follow-up and treatment. Beinborn, whose grandfather died from a cardiac event and whose early training focused on cardiac medicine, said he was pleased with the ongoing support from the specialist community. “EPs understand the space and they want this,” he said. “For patients, getting to the specialist and discussing the best treatment option for their situation is the goal.”

For more information about this innovative pilot program, email

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