After a decade in product development, RehabLogic Inc., of Spokane, has inked a contract with a Boise-area hospital management company to test and help roll out its Internet-based system for tracking standardized, integrated treatment of certain brain impairments.
The Idaho company, Eagle-based Initiatives Healthcare LLC, says it has agreed to expand its business relationship with RehabLogic if the Spokane company's Neurorehabilitation Treatment and Documentation System performs as expected during a test at Florence Community Healthcare, a 65-bed hospital in Florence, Ariz., that Initiatives Healthcare owns and operates.
The system is designed to standardize the treatment process and the tracking of information, says Paul Domitor, president and co-founder of RehabLogic and a recently retired neuropsychologist. At the same time, it will coordinate multiple disciplines of physical, occupational, speech, behavioral-health, vocational, and recreational therapies for disorders caused by stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and traumatic injuries, Domitor says. He says the system is designed for use in all care settings from the hospital to the home.
Domitor's partners in RehabLogic are neuropsychologists Allen Bostwick and Duane Green. Neuropsychologists treat patients with certain brain impairments or injuries.
Green claims RehabLogic's system is unique in its approach to neurorehabilitation in that it uses a type of software called a rich Internet application (RIA).The RIA is independent of standard Web browsers and is compatible with major computer operating systems, he says.
The system provides common databases for rehabilitation providers, patients and family members, insurers, home-care providers, and workers compensation systems. It also has security enhancements that comply with federal privacy requirements without expensive investments in equipment and software, Green says.
RehabLogic occupies about 800 square feet of office space on the fourth floor of the Sirti building, at 665 N. Riverpoint Blvd. Domitor says that Sirti, the state-funded economic development agency located on the Riverpoint Campus,has helped RehabLogic with its business planning and by providing mentoring and other services, although the company hasn't had any sales as yet.
"Sirti has helped us through development a lot," Domitor says. "They are on the phone with us when we talk to business prospects, and they've provided some assistance in marketing."
The partners founded RehabLogic in 2000. All three shared a common interest in developing multidisciplinary treatment protocols for traumatic brain injuries, particularly mild injuries such as concussions.
While concussions are often seen as minor, their effects aren't always short term, Domitor says.
"We noticed that a lot of people have a difficult time concentrating or remembering after a concussion," he says. "We wanted to treat them from a multidisciplinary standpoint."
With no yardstick to measure the success of treatment, insurers often were reluctant to pay for treatment, he says.
"We wanted to continue care, and they wanted to stop it to reduce costs," Domitor says.
The partners realized they needed a way to measure the effectiveness of treatment and formed RehabLogic to create a software system to gauge it.
"We thought, if we could put numbers on everything, we could better understand who's getting better and who's not," Domitor says.
RehabLogic's system includes more than 50 step-by-by step treatment plans, called modules, that start with the simplest activities and incrementally grow more difficult, he says.
"Each module represents a reasonable pathway between the least challenging and the most challenging activity," he says. "Either they can do it or they can't. There's very little to argue about."
The patient has to accumulate points to continue a course of treatment. "If a person isn't getting anywhere, the module won't allow the provider to proceed and might suggest another module," Domitor says.
For instance, if a patient is having trouble with one module due to a memory problem, the system would suggest trying an attention-focused module first, he says.
RehabLogic has presented the concepts behind its system on Wall Street, before venture capitalists in Chicago, and to major health insurers, all of which provided moralbut not financialsupport, Domitor says.
"Everyone was excited about this approach," but without a product to demonstrate, RehabLogic has been unable to persuade any other investors to come onboard, Domitor says.
"We have funded it all along," he says. "We didn't have venture capital and startup money. We're getting there."
The company has hired Phoenix-based software developer Josh Abel, a Lewis and Clark High School graduate, to help with software development, and three programmers working under Abel in the Ukraine are putting the finishing touches on the program, he says.
RehabLogic has taken a big business step forward with its agreement with Initiatives Healthcare, Domitor says.
"We think we've got a good product and partner to take us to market," he says, adding that Initiatives Healthcare will help with marketing when the product is introduced.
RehabLogic will test its system at Initiatives Healthcare's Arizona facility over a two- to four-month period beginning this fall. After that, Initiatives Healthcare's relationship with RehabLogic could range from that of a licensee to formation of a joint venture, with Initiatives Healthcare marketing the RehabLogic system to potential users.
Initiatives Healthcare's CEO, Dr. Edward McEachern, says the company views RehabLogic's system as a promising neurorehabilitation product.
"We are enthused to be in the forefront of validating the results," McEachern says. "We are looking forward to expanding our business relationship."
In addition to the Arizona facility, Initiatives Healthcare also owns and operates University Orthopaedic Center, in Salt Lake City, Utah; the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, in Columbia, Mo.; and the University of California, San Francisco Orthopedic Institute, in Mission Bay, Calif.
Domitor says he expects RehabLogic will begin generating revenue after Initiatives Healthcare's test, and that its founders will recover their investments in the company within a year from then.
Domitor says the system can reduce the cost of case management.
"We want to end the fight between providers and payers," he says. "Our system scores everything the therapist does, and there are several data points where you can see whether a patient is getting better."
As more providers use the system, it will be able to predict the cost and treatment approach that produces the best outcome for new cases, he says.
While the system is geared toward treatment of patients with brain impairments, it could be extended to orthopedic therapies, such as treatment of a broken hip, Domitor says."Everyone we've shown the concept to says they think it's the future of health care," he says.
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