Vitalbox Addresses the Global Healthcare Crisis With Its Personal Health Platform Based On Progress Corticon
As the world's population continues to increase, grow older and develop chronic diseases
earlier, healthcare systems around the world are facing the same challenges. How is it
possible to make healthcare more affordable, extend its reach and improve quality all at
the same time? To further complicate the issue, different stakeholders have varying, and
sometimes conflicting priorities and objectives. Providers want their patients to take
advantage of any and all opportunities to improve their health; individuals want improved
healthcare quality, but many can’t afford to pay; and payers want to reduce healthcare
utilization and costs.
Vitalbox believes its approach to prevention can play a crucial role in this fight against
the global healthcare crisis and benefit all of the stakeholders involved. A social business
enterprise focused on public health, Vitalbox is committed to improving individual
healthcare while reducing costs through its innovative Personal Health Platform. The
company believes technology, with its ability to solve the Big Data problem so often
associated with healthcare, is the key to prevention and improved personal health. There
is a massive volume of both structured and unstructured data that is near to impossible
to process using traditional database and software techniques. But Vitalbox has found a
way to store and manage that data and then do something meaningful with it.
Three years ago, the company launched its Personal Health Platform designed to create
a personalized assessment of health risks. The system provides individuals with a
health map that calculates the chance of that person developing chronic conditions,
and then proposes actions to reduce risks. Alerts can be delivered to the user based
on inputted data, informing them for example, if their cholesterol is too high and they
should schedule a doctor's appointment. The system provides personalized guidance to help users reach their target health goals and users can run "what if" scenarios to measure how
changes in behavior could impact their health risks.
Because the system is 100% Cloud based, Vitalbox was able to take an innovative approach
to its sales model as well. The company serves the individual subscriber--who is allowed
to determine how much they can pay for access to the system, and it serves companies or
government agencies, such as Grupo Boticário and Boehringer Ingelheim, that want to offer
access to the system as a benefit. Also, for those individual subscribers that cannot afford the
system, Vitalbox will take it upon itself to find a sponsor to absorb the costs so that person can
take advantage of the service.
"We believe that healthcare sector will face a major shift in the following years, adopting new business models and technologies to adjust to the modern world. People will open their minds
and embrace technology as part of the solution to this global healthcare crisis," says Carlos
Bassi, CEO and Founder of Vitalbox.
Vitalbox Chooses Progress Corticon To Scale Its Business and Enable Rapid Growth
Headquartered in Brazil, Vitalbox first launched its platform in December of 2011, and grew to
over 16,000 users. But with ambitions to rapidly scale its system far beyond that number and
expand to markets outside of Latin America, the company needed to change its manual-based
process for hard coding and managing rules.
"We add new rules to the system every day based on new studies, protocols, and regulations,"
explains Bassi. "With our in-house manual system, each rule required approximately six
developer hours to create, test and deploy one rule. Once we expand outside of Latin America,
we will need to create and customize rules across a multitude of factors, including country,
regulations, ethnicity, gender and risk level. We also want to give users and physicians the
ability to modify and add their own rules to further customize the system to meet their own
personal health needs. The complexity around these rules will just continue to multiply; our
manual process was just too limited to support this change, so we looked to a third-party for
help and that's why we chose Progress Corticon."
After evaluating a number of options, including OpenSource, Vitalbox chose the Progress
Corticon Business Rules Management System (BRMS). Progress Corticon delivers high quality,
high-fidelity, high-performance automated business decisions and increases agility of
decision change processes. The system molds complex rules without source code, it has simple
interface that allows non-IT users to quickly and easily create or change rules, and the solution
is highly scalable.
"Progress Corticon was the best solution to meet our needs," explains Bassi. "It has
significantly reduced our time to market because we can now develop and deploy a new rule
in 10 minutes versus six hours. Progress Corticon can easily support our large amounts of
dynamic data. It offers the flexibility and agility around rules creation and management that we
needed. And we expect it will reduce our development and maintenance cycle by 90%. There are
no other solutions on the market that can do for us do what Progress Corticon does."
But the decision to choose Progress Corticon went beyond just technology benefits, says
Bassi. "The people behind the product made the difference for us. Progress demonstrated
an eagerness to establish a long-term partnership. The Progress team took the time to
understand our short and long-term needs, our business model and business strategy. And
then together, we collaborated on a strategic plan to propel our business forward." Vitalbox
also recognized the value and benefits of working with a large, international organization with a
strong partner program and extended partner ecosystem.
"I have worked for a large international software company, so I understand how these
relationships usually work. We are a start up, yet Progress takes care of us like we were a big
company. They are truly invested in our long-term success, and that has made all the difference
Progress Corticon Delivers Flexibility and Agility
A critical component to the Vitalbox platform is the ability to provide notifications to its users based on their profiles. A notification can simply be a note to remember that some health
data is missing or overdue, an alert because a combination of data creates a special situation
that requires attention, or a recommendation based on a list of factors. "These rules change
frequently, based on health ministry guidelines, country, health operator, and so on. It is crucial to have flexibility to create and maintain these rules. Progress Corticon gives us that agility to immediately react to change, and it ensures our users are getting the important and timely information they need to guide their health decisions," says Bassi.
Users can opt to share their information with their personal physician. And in the near future, Vitalbox plans to offer physicians the ability to modify and create their own rules, based on their individual patient's needs. For example, if the doctor has determined the patient has high blood pressure, he may create a rule that the patient is to take and record her own blood pressure every two weeks. If the patient fails to do so, the rule can be configured to send the patient a reminder. And if the recorded numbers fall within dangerous levels, the doctor can configure the rule to send an alert telling that patient that she should set up an appointment for a checkup immediately.
The Personal Health Platform also enables companies and government agencies to analyze
information at the population level. For example, a company can identify if there are particular
risks to its employee base, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. The company can then run
simulations to determine what would happen if it implemented a program to reduce weight
or measure blood pressure. By addressing these potential issues and taking preventative
measures, the company has the potential to improve the health of its employee population
while also reducing its own healthcare costs.
Vitalbox currently has a mobile application in beta. The mobile version of the Personal Health
Platform will offer the same functionality as the Web-based version. However, users will also be
able to take advantage of additional features due to the unique attributes of a mobile device,
like a camera and GPS. "We think mobile is absolutely critical to scaling our business. And there
will be countless benefits to our users with the ability to control and access their health data
via a mobile device. Progress Corticon supports that strategy and will be a key component as
we continue to evolve our solution."
With the help of Progress Corticon, Vitalbox plans to scale its number of uses by 375% within
just a couple of months. The company is getting ready to launch the new version of its platform
and it plans to add every health professional in Brazil to the system – 600,000 in total. And
according to Bassi, this is just the beginning. With the flexibility, agility and scalability afforded by Progress Corticon, the company expects to continue its rapid expansion across Latin
American and into EMEA in the near future.
Vitalbox is a Brazilian technology startup that offers a personal health platform. The solution was developed in partnership with Biosignia, American science and technology companies, and supported by universities, such as Duke University, Cornell and the University of Washington. MIT and Harvard University created Vitalbox’s electronic chart which allows users to make online risk analysis and get custom health maps. The Vitalbox platform is not a medical diagnosis or substitute for consultation by a healthcare professional, but rather it can be used as a way to assist people to maintain their health. For more information, visit http://www.vitalbox.com.