Peter Van Haur
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – January 9, 2023
CEOCFO: Mr. Van Haur, the first thing I see on the VitalConnect site is “Welcome to the future of cardiac monitoring.” What have you developed at VitalConnect?
Mr. Van Haur: Before we get into cardiac monitoring, I think it is important to answer the question that you asked me, which is; what we have developed at VitalConnect. The answer is that we have developed what is known as the VitalCore® Processor. The VitalCore Processor is a patented, home-
CEOCFO: What can you tell us about the technology? How is it different from what else is available?
Mr. Van Haur: What is different about this technology is that it is a low power, high frequency, ASIC chip. There are many chips that a company can buy off the shelf, and many of our competitors do buy chips off the shelf. However, to do what we do, one had to create technology with the ability to monitor the human body with a high level of accuracy.
As we sit here today, we are very sedentary. We do not move that much. However, when you think about the human body, it is very active -
CEOCFO: Were you sure that you could do it? When did you realize it was possible?
Mr. Van Haur: I will tell you the story of the origination of this technology. The short answer is that you never know if you can do something until you try. However, the individual that actually created this technology is named Dr. Nersi Nazari. Nersi Nazari is a world-
CEOCFO: Are hospitals and medical institutions looking for a wireless way, or is it more monitoring outpatients, or both?
Mr. Van Haur: Hospitals are absolutely looking for a way to wirelessly monitor their patients. In fact, that is the second market that we are in commercially today. We are selling our technology for remote patient monitoring inside the four walls of the hospital. There are roughly one million hospital beds in America. Approximately 20% of those beds are what I would refer to as sophisticated beds. They are hard-
CEOCFO: What is the device recognizing? What is it picking up?
Mr. Van Haur: The device recognizes the following 8 parameters: It monitors the patient’s electrocardiogram, so it is monitoring the heart and the ECG. It is also monitoring the patient’s heart rate. It is monitoring the patient’s heart rate variability. It is monitoring the patient's respiratory rate. It is monitoring the patient’s core body temperature. It is monitoring the patient's activity level in the form of steps. It is monitoring the patient’s posture, whether they are lying down or sitting up. It is also monitoring the patient for fall detection, which is very important in the hospital, as you know, with the risk of falls with many of these patients. These eight core parameters are what we monitor using the VitalPatch, and we stream that data to the cloud in real time. Once it is in the cloud, we have the capability of pushing that data through algorithms. One such algorithm that we use detects up to 21 cardiac arrhythmias. It finds things such as atrial fibrillation, as well as other cardiac abnormalities. We have other algorithms that will triangulate our data points, and they will use, for lack of a better word, “if then” statements. For example, if the respiratory rate and the heart rate breach a certain level, then alert the nurse on staff that there is a problem in that particular room, for that particular patient.
We are taking patient data and streaming it to the cloud, where we use software and analytics to analyze the data to provide physicians with what we refer to as actionable insights. We feel as though we have a true end-
CEOCFO: Is the medical community skeptical? I know it has been tested, but do they believe that it will really be effective?
Mr. Van Haur: The medical community really believes that our technology has been, and will continue to be effective. The area in which we are commercializing our technology, I will refer to for the purposes of this conversation as digital health. It has been exploding, and that pre-
There are many areas of focus within digital health. Cardiac is a small one. However, when I say small, it is a two-
CEOCFO: Do you foresee a time when everyone will wear one of these?
Mr. Van Haur: Our product carries a very low cost as it relates to overall healthcare spending in general. The intention behind technologies like ours, and specifically ours, is the avoidance of cost. The value proposition for Medicare and other commercial insurance carriers to pay for this service is because atrial fibrillation oftentimes leads to stroke, and if you can detect a patient that has atrial fibrillation prior to such an event, you are doing the right thing for the patient clinically, and you are avoiding significant costs to the healthcare system. That is one example, and we can point to many examples, of how our technology avoids clinical problems and reduces cost by looking at the hospital environment. We are picking up signs and symptoms of deterioration for things like sepsis, pulmonary embolisms and GI bleeds by monitoring vital signs. The data will show us if the patient is fighting something. When the heart rate begins to speed up, the respiratory rate becomes labored and when the core body temperature begins to spike or drop, you know that the body is fighting something, and we are alerting physicians before an event occurs and results in a detrimental outcome, possibly even death.
Do I think that everybody is going to be wearing these ubiquitously? Probably not, but from a healthcare perspective, more emphasis is going to go to preventive care versus care of an issue, and we provide preventive care through the diagnosis of problems that lead to eventual issues such as stroke, cardiac arrest, and so on.
CEOCFO: The Vital Connect site shows, “Easy to apply, Built for comfort, Staying power, and Water resistant.” How have you accomplished all of those things and why is it so important for people to wear the Patch when needed?
Mr. Van Haur: As I discussed, the VitalCore Processor is our core technology. It does exactly what I tell you it is going to do, as advertised, in what I will call the perfect environment. Now, in the real world where the biosensor is being worn, is not perfect. It is being worn by a human and human beings are very active. They have day-
CEOCFO: How often would a patient or physician change the device?
Mr. Van Haur: Each patch has a 7-
CEOCFO: How are you reaching out to prospective customers, to the medical community, as well as the investment community?
Mr. Van Haur: Our technology is commercialized through a traditional medical device sales force. We have individuals that are clinically trained in our technology. Many of these individuals are prior nurses, prior cardiac technicians, and prior cardiac lab representatives, and they are out in the field showcasing our technology to healthcare professionals that are looking for a new way to care for their patients in the cardiac space.
The same is true in the hospital inpatient monitoring side of our business. We have clinically trained individuals that have been in the medical device space for years. They are working with hospital systems from the top of the house down, working with them in terms of integrating our technology into the workflow, into the hospitals’ EMRs, and bringing the platform into the true fabric of the hospitals. Therefore, we have a dedicated group of people that are out every day representing our technology from both the clinical value perspective as well as the economic value perspective.
CEOCFO: What, if anything, might people miss or misunderstand about Vital Connect?
Mr. Van Haur: The vision of Vital Connect is to be the most sophisticated remote patient monitoring platform in the world. We believe that we can provide value and utility to any patient from anywhere at any time. Oftentimes, because of the great success and the rapid growth we have been having in the cardiac monitoring space, people believe that cardiac monitoring is the sole environment in which we compete. It is “an” environment where we offer our services, but it is not the only one. We are capable of providing patient care and value across the entire remote patient monitoring marketplace. Cardiac monitoring, which is currently our fastest growing market segment and where we have been in the longest, is just a small piece of the giant landscape where we can provide value. Therefore, I think what people often miss is that we are not simply a cardiac monitoring company, we are so much more than that because of all of the data points, all of the vital signs, our capability of monitoring and streaming data in near real time over an extended period of time. We can expand into so many more markets. I think people often miss this when I talk to them.
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