Informed Health Solutions

Informed Health Solutions

Readmission to the hospital comes at a huge cost for the hospital with the new penalties in place. The risk of readmission to the hospital is high for many patients, especially those with chronic, complex illnesses, such as heart failure.  Informed Health Solutions, with the assistance of Digital Sandbox KC, is working to change that model.

Informed Health Solutions has developed a sophisticated blend of both high-touch and high-tech tools, designed to safely transition newly discharged heart failure patients from the hospital to home. Use of the tools and processes developed by Informed Health Solutions typically reduces heart failure readmissions by 30-60%, at a per-patient cost far lower than other approaches.  IHS also shares a percentage of its revenues with its hospital customer.

Elizabeth Blanchard Hills, founder and president, explains it this way:  “We are focused on the care Transitions space; how patients successfully transition from a stay in the hospital back into the community.  Our processes are the result of great science—a randomized clinical trial we recently completed– and our care model relies primarily upon the power of group interactions. Put simply, we help patients change their stories—instead of being isolated and afraid, we empower them to become engaged patients who partner successfully with their health care team.   The magic happens in groups—four clinics that meet weekly for one month following discharge.”

Informed Health Solutions joins other tech, mobile and data companies in the Digital Sandbox. The Digital Sandbox KC provides proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes. Support for each Sandbox participant is customized based on the unique needs of the project as well as the resources required to move the product or service forward. 

Hills was provided a Digital Sandbox KC scholarship to participate in FastTrac® TechVenture™, an intensive eight-session course designed to give technology and science-based entrepreneurs a proven framework and network of connections to help grow a great idea into the next viable innovation.  She credits the class with changing her strategic thinking. “I went from thinking of myself as a person with a passionate idea to thinking of myself as an investor. We heard one lecture about what investors look for. That was my big ‘ah ha’ moment…why wouldn’t I look at this as an investor?” she said.

Hills also credited Digital Sandbox KC with connecting her to other startups, mentors and resources.

“Informed Health Solutions is an example of how Digital Sandbox can help entrepreneurs and startups in many ways,” said Jeff Shackelford, director of Digital Sandbox KC.  “Elizabeth was very passionate about her company but needed some help in further developing the business model so we offered her a Kauffman FastTrac scholarship and that was exactly what she needed at the time.”

While the company is still in its early stages, Informed Health Solutions is generating revenue and has been successful in several competitions and grant requests:

  • Semifinalist, 2013 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Care About Your Care” video contest
  • Winner, 2012 Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s Innovator’s Award: Quality and Patient Safety category
  • Winner, National Institutes of Health grant, HF Clinic Appointments: Self-Management & Care of Heart Failure
  • Winner, SBIR grant, Lowering the Cost of Congestive Heart Failure
  • Winner, EAG 10th Anniversary Pay-it-Forward Celebration–$10,000 worth of marketing
  • Secured a pilot with KU Hospital beginning in early 2014