Sparked by a LinkedIn message, year-old local telehealth company Remission Medical has embarked on a project with a major healthcare industry player to improve care in the rheumatology field.
Remission announced this week that it has inked an agreement with the Mayo Clinic to develop technology intended to more quickly steer people with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus toward the right medical treatment and to better anticipate flare-ups associated with those diseases.
As part of the agreement, Remission gets access to Mayo Clinic technology and staff to help the startup develop the technology, which it’s able to incorporate into existing software that powers its virtual rheumatology clinic.
The Mayo Clinic is a large Minnesota-based healthcare nonprofit with an international presence that has clinical, research and educational operations. Remission was launched by CEO Blake Wehman last spring, has more than 300 regular patients using its telehealth service and has seven medical practitioners on its team.
“We’re honored to collaborate with them to advance new and innovative ways to better impact rheumatology service delivery models,” Wehman said of the deal. “Remission Medical has built out its own proprietary technology. That technology supports how we deliver our service. The goal of the Mayo collaboration is to leverage their know-how to transform the technology into something Mayo pressure-tested,” Wehman said.
The new technology will use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to shorten the time between diagnosis and treatment, as well as predict flare-ups to minimize hospitalizations and medical procedures.
Wehman said Remission has a version of the technology now and will further develop it with Mayo support over the coming 12 months.
Mayo has “research and financial interest” in the venture, according to a news release. Wehman declined to elaborate further on the financial side of the deal.
Wehman said that the collaboration also lays the groundwork for the development of a potential stand-alone software product, though Remission doesn’t have firm plans to launch such a product.
The project got started with a LinkedIn message. Wehman said a Mayo representative contacted him on the social media site last September, and the idea for the collaboration blossomed over the ensuing months.
Wehman, who has a background in healthcare administration, was inspired to launch Remission because of his own challenging experience of getting diagnosed with early-adult-onset undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis and managing his condition.
Remission operates remotely, and Wehman lives in the Richmond area. Its providers are seeing patients located in Virginia, Ohio, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana.
While it works on the Mayo project, Remission also expects to expand its services to New York, Missouri, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The start-up also is preparing to begin a capital raise.