4D Healthware’s analytics platform is designed to help chronic disease patients monitor their health from mobile devices. Soon, the company will add preventive care.
“We are agnostic to the entire ecosystem of healthcare,” CEO Star Cunningham said. “We are looking for root cause, how to help people, how to give people that early warning light like on the dashboard of your car to let you know you need to do something before the symptoms kick in and you are in an acute care-type of position.”
Patients who use 4D can have a more detailed understanding of the various aspects of their health from clinical information and fitness/lifestyle data and how they affect one another, which is not only valuable to them, but it’s especially valuable to those who will treat them, Cunningham said.
Other comparable options give patients data. But Cunningham said that the way 4D analyzes the data, translates it, makes it actionable and personalizes suggestions in the form of “nudges” for a consumer is unique.
“Our proprietary algorithms use artificial intelligence to understand from the consumer their response to nudging,” she said in an email. “We use behavior science to consider education levels, culture and language preferences which allow for the customization of recommendations and education materials. When a nudge is received from our platform we are learning why a person does or does not do what is recommended and each successive nudge gets closer and closer to a recommendation that the consumer automatically follows.”
The company had been selling their software directly to consumers. But on Jan. 1, Medicare started paying separately under the Physician Fee Schedule for non face-to-face care for beneficiaries with multiple chronic health issues – part of chronic care management (CCM). 4D falls into this category of care, and physicians and other practitioners will be able to bill the service.
4D is currently fundraising a seed round of $500,000 and looking for angel investors. The primary reason for the current funding is for the technical requirements and meeting up with the codes involved with the billing through Medicare to enable the next rollout, she said.
For Cunningham, the 4D mission is personal, and she’s even more passionate for that reason. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 16 and knows firsthand how personalized care and a detailed understanding of each individual is essential for optimal treatment. But it’s often overlooked.
It must be said, I think, that in an industry run by mostly men, Cunningham stands out as an individual in the field. She believes that her contribution as a woman (and someone who has experienced a chronic disease) is partially based on the fact that she has as an acute “fiber of her being” that is focused on empathy – not just the clinical science aspect of healthcare. She acknowledges that men are capable of the same motives, but this might be an additional strength she provides to this area of healthcare.
It’s a deep-rooted, innate feeling of wanting to understand how to help people, she said. This includes paying close attention to aspects like ethnicity, environment, and other components that can play a roll in someone’s condition.
As far as “noise in the space” is concerned, Cunningham believes elements of fragmentation is what sets them apart from competitors. A lot of companies and wellness programs are approaching the same concepts, but they all don’t do everything that 4D is providing. She believes there’s plenty of room for everyone to jump in and contribute.
Since the beginning of March, 4D Healthware has now settled in its new home at the MATTER incubator in Chicago.