By Nancy Dahlberg
You may not have heard of MedSys Health – yet. That’s because since 2019, founder Safaquat Khan and his team have been quietly building the South Florida healthtech startup that is on a mission to improve health outcomes while lowering medical costs.
MedSys, based in Miramar, specializes in providing remote patient monitoring for patients with chronic conditions. Khan, a serial entrepreneur and tech industry veteran, describes MedSys as healthcare without boundaries.
The startup help accelerate digital transformation in healthcare by transforming the care relationship between patients and their care teams. MedSys’ vision is to be an extension of an individual’s care ecosystem, allowing individuals to proactively manage their health from the comfort of their home. The platform enables healthcare providers to deliver continuous, connected care outside the four walls of their clinic to improve quality of life for their patients.
“Remote Patient Monitoring is technology’s gift to healthcare. In between patient visits, the [medical team] gets to know every day what is happening. RPM reduces hospitalizations, it reduces emergency room visits,” explained Khan, CEO of MedSys. ”Medicare has realized the savings that this technology generates. The provider organizations are incentivized to implement this technology.”
About 81 million adults in the US have at least one chronic condition, and the majority of that group have more than one condition. Chronic diseases and conditions, like hypertension, heart disease, COPD, diabetes, heart failure, obesity and respiratory health, account for more than 75% of the $4.1 trillion annually spent on healthcare in the US, Khan said.
RPM is just one component of MedSys’s end-to-end virtual care platform. Users of the platform can also access therapeutic monitoring and telemedicine, as well as fall detection and a personal emergency response system for aging in place. Coming soon to the platform: virtual care for cardiac rehab.
With life expectancies on the rise, MedSys is going after a big growing market. In 2021, the market for RPM was $5.8 billion in the US and is expected to grow to $27.1 billion by 2027. The broader telehealth industry is expected to be a $309.9 billion market by 2030.
Through its partnerships, MedSys provides patients with monitoring devices based on the chronic conditions the person has, so he or she at home is able to take readings – such as blood pressure, glucose levels or blood oxygen levels – as advised by the doctor. The clinical team gets access to those readings instantly.
The MedSys platform requires a smartphone, yet almost 41% of Medicare patients don’t have a smartphone or a wireless data plan. For those without one, MedSys has partnered with AT&T and its FirstNet program. “Through this partnership, we not only get robust connectivity through the FirstNet network, we also get the device – a smartphone with connectivity. The patient gets a phone and kit that is ready to go,” Khan said.
Healthcare providers have begun embracing the benefits of remote patient monitoring but the biggest push has come from the government itself, Khan explained. “When you have bipartisan support from the government and the government decides to do extensive amount of reimbursement to the provider community to implement the technology, you know you are on the right track.”
MedSys Health’s customer base can be doctor groups, clinics, hospitals, health systems, health plans and employer groups, who pay through a monthly subscription based on the number of patients. Khan and his team built the platform first and then piloted it with doctor groups in 2021 and early 2022. MedSys was named one of the most promising healthcare solutions companies in 2022 by CIO Review.
While most of its current customer base is doctor groups, MedSys has now been drawing interest from larger players. Newer customers include a large, multi-specialty medical center in South Florida to provide remote care to Medicare and Medicaid patients as well as one of the biggest pulmonary clinics in the Mid-Atlantic.
Khan’s background is in technology. He started his career in IBM in Boca Raton and Cambridge Technology Partners and he was also a founder of an EMR product startup. Then, as he started looking deeper into the impact technology could have in opening up access and lowering costs in healthcare, he said he saw “a very big challenge and opportunity” in this area of chronic diseases.
Led by an executive team deeply experienced in healthcare and technology, MedSys employs about 35 people, with about 10 of them working out of its Miramar office including the leadership team. The 25-person technology team is remote. Khan projects that his team will more than double in size over the next year. MedSys also has a strong and diverse advisory board that includes senior Fortune-500 executives, healthcare thought leaders, serial entrepreneurs, and physicians passionate about transforming healthcare, Khan added.
“We aspire to be a leader in the digital transformation of healthcare, and South Florida is the right place for us with its growing elderly population. South Florida is becoming a technology hub and we believe we are going to be a catalyst for technology growth,” Khan said.
Indeed, amid a large established healthcare industry in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area, healthcare-technology startups have been multiplying and the sector is the second most-active sector for venture capital backing. A 2023 report by Startup Genome noted that South Florida’s strength in life sciences and medtech is one of the reasons for the sharp rise in the Miami area’s global ranking as a tech hub.
What’s next? Expanding into health systems and health plans. Khan said he is working on partnerships that could be “game changing” and raising venture funding to grow. So far, MedSys has been funded by the founder and seed funding primarily from doctors.
“There’s a human factor here when you realize that you are doing something that has a huge impact on the quality of life of our end users. That’s very, very encouraging to our team,” Khan said.
“We believe we are in this journey to make a difference, and that’s what drives us.”
Follow Nancy Dahlberg on X @ndahlberg and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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