Hillel's Tech Corner: MDI Health brings precision to medical prescriptions

The result is a totally broken reality. Take, for example, the grief associated with prescription drug cocktails (multiple drugs on a regular basis).

MDI  (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
As the healthcare sector continues to evolve, thanks to technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, some areas seem to be immune to that change, namely medical prescriptions.
If you stop to think about how physicians prescribe medications, you realize the process is quite primitive and archaic. The average visit to the doctor is from five to seven minutes, which is clearly not enough time for the physician to acquire enough deep knowledge and familiarity with the patient’s medical records and history.
This issue is then complicated further with the exponential increase of medical data that do not show any signs of slowing down.
This enormous amount of data is also completely fragmented and it’s almost impossible to say that X causes Y, unless a reliable timeline is set in place.
The result is a totally broken reality. Take, for example, the grief associated with prescription drug cocktails (multiple drugs on a regular basis).
Oftentimes, these drugs help relieve one or two symptoms of medical conditions, but end up unlocking a whole new series of discomforts in the form of side-effects. Then additional medications are prescribed for those, which again unlock new side-effects.
The discomfort feels endless, and is often the source of anxiety for sufferers. They may experience waves of panic, or waves of intense pain flaring up in times of stress. The emotional imbalance, coupled with ongoing physical side-effects makes everyone wonder whether they were actually better off without certain medications; at least they previously had a greater level of self-confidence and independence, now they seem to be worse off than they were before all the meds.
With an increase in age comes an increase in drug consumption (average of five or more drugs for ages 65 and above) alongside a rise in adverse drug reactions, including hospitalization and a decline in quality of life, or even death. In a comprehensive analysis of this morbidity and its origins in the US in 2016, it was found that an estimated $528.4 billion was spent, and about 275,689 deaths per year were caused due to poor optimization of drug-therapy combinations. The FDA defines drug-related problems as the fourth leading cause of death in the US.
All this begs the question: Why hasn’t someone figured out how to blend expert human intelligence with machine intelligence for medication management?
Enter MDI Health, a company that helps clinicians provide safer and more personalized medication treatment using drug-safety expertise and AI-powered algorithms
Patients turn to their clinicians to provide the right medication treatment. The clinicians naturally do the best they can to help remedy, or ease the issue at hand. However, in many instances, given the challenges listed above, the physician is working in the dark.
MDI HEALTH is working toward leading a paradigm shift in the way clinicians view and provide medication treatment. They use advanced AI algorithms and machine-learning models to not only predict and prevent medication-related problems, but also to pick up on new patterns of medication use in chronic patients.
MDI Health is a decision support system that analyzes both personal medical information, including patient’s medical history, genetics and lab tests, as well as drug-information (drug behavior in the human body).
By looking deep into the root cause of each problem, clinicians can make sure the drugs they are prescribing will be the most effective for each individual patient. At the end of the day, there is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all solution to any medical need, and current systems cannot cope with polypharmacy-complex patients with their unique needs, personal characteristics and drug cocktails.
Although there are a few other available solutions aiming to overcome this challenge, they are all limited in terms of primarily examining only the common drug-drug interactions and limited analysis regarding multi-drug cocktails. MDI Health is a full-fledged analysis system that produces a complete and comprehensive risk assessment of each patient and detects and predicts areas that have the highest risk, so clinicians can quickly take action towards a safer alternative medication treatments as needed.
“Studies have shown that at least 60%-70% of drug side effects and hospitalizations are preventable,” says Dr. Dorit Dil Nahlieli, director of clinical pharmacy and MDI Health’s founder and CSO.
Nahlieli was also the former director of the Department of Drug safety and Drug Information at the Israeli Health Ministry and former head of clinical pharmacy services and drug-drug interaction software at Clalit.
Behind MDI Health’s technology are Nahlieli’s more than 15 years of pharmacotherapy and drug-safety expertise. Over these past 15 years she has treated thousands of complex patients, reducing their pain and improving their quality of life. The doctor needed a software solution like MDI herself, which is what led her to develop it, bringing the understanding that polypharmacy patients need to be treated better and need to have a designated software that can help them on a mass scale.
MDI Health is also led by CEO Avishai Ben-Tovim, CTO Yuval Kalev, and board chairman Dr. Eitan Hy-Am. The company has to date raised a pre-seed funding round led by Jumpspeed VC and Freshfund, and is the only international company to join the digital health program of Hartford Healthcare in the US.
The impact of a product such as MDI Health is life-changing for both patients and clinicians. Precision medicine and personalized healthcare should be much more than nice buzz words. Everything else in our daily lives is personalized to our needs. There’s no reason our health should be any different.