Last year, Ares Health Systems became the first digital health company to enter GCMI’s accelerator, accessing our digital health commercial development expertise and health system relationships to further validate the value of Ares’ MPower care management platform and commence market penetration.

“Our confidence in our value proposition has increased since we’ve last talked,” says Ares CEO Martin Entwistle. “At commencement in the GCMI accelerator, we felt our positioning was close to the mark, but there’s no substitute for real-world experience. Our early work in pilots with partners has helped both validate and refine our approach. It’s all about ensuring MPower adds immediate bottom-line value to customer care-delivery programs by speeding deployment, simplifying integration, addressing data management risks and driving revenues for value-based care programs.”

Ares’ MPower Your Health(R) digital health platform transforms care management by closing the gap in care between physician visits generating, interpreting and delivering consumable, actionable patient data outside of the care setting. Patients engage in their care plan through direct feedback on progress against set goals. Clinicians receive direct input on the status of their patient population and can then intervene selectively and proactively with those that need active support.

CMS and ONC have recently taken much stronger positions on “information blocking,” removing barriers for patients to access and share their own data like claims, medication history and data from devices and trackers. How does that relate to Ares and MPower? Entwistle says it may mean the opportunity for MPower is larger than originally believed because Ares’ solutions already address this concern by supporting the collection, sharing and interpretation of data generated and controlled by the patient.

“To support the improved sharing of data, CMS and ONC are also seeking the rapid advancement of open APIs (application programming interfaces),” he says. “MPower has followed these principles since inception, so it is well placed to meet the requirements of the draft government regulations. By creating open APIs, the MPower platform as a service (PaaS) makes it easier to get advanced care management functionality into existing systems. It’s right on the mark for CMS, and where they go, the commercial carriers follow, significantly increasing the market potential.

“Deploying through partners like HealthShare Exchange, a Philadelphia based health information exchange, and NewWave, a contractor to CMS based in Elkridge, MD, should allow us to address a larger market by mitigating the risks, cost and pain of deployment. By leveraging our partners’ integration methods, we are finding a customer can configure, set-up and access our care management functionality with a less than a half-day’s work.”

At HIMSS 2019, Ares demonstrated the MPower platform integrated with NewWave’s MyHealth AI app, to illustrate the value of a combined solution that drives clinical impact and addresses current challenges with the collection and consent to use of a patient’s data. Ares is building on the feedback received and the experience gained to refine its business strategy and seek other similar partners for disruptive deployment of MPower.

Related – our 2019 HIMSS top insight.

“A lot of young medtech companies lack a robust commercialization plan that is realistic about market adoption challenges for digital health solutions,” Entwistle says. “We would like to deploy at larger scale with a large health system, but to leverage our early mover position, we believe it is smarter to deploy through partners to smaller providers so we secure early adoption and more swiftly validate our value proposition. Both are key steps to commercial success.

“Like other companies in our space and at this stage of development, we experience growing pains. In addition to the challenges of technical adoption, the shift to value-based care fundamentally changes the way clinical teams practice and engage with patients. It necessitates a change management process for care delivery. Recognizing this we have created a deployment playbook to that supports adoption and is integrated into our deployment process.”

What’s next?

“Our roadmap is currently being reviewed to ensure we stay ahead in the technical game,” Entwistle says. “We have refined and honed our value proposition. Now time is of the essence to demonstrate adoption and use. We also need to plan ahead for team expansion and market development and that will require further investment. We have run extremely lean to this point to prove we’ve got a viable product, but we will soon need expanded capacity and capabilities. These are fundamental steps for any company going through acceleration. The fact that we are making these plans indicate significant progress resulting from our work in the GCMI accelerator.”

About GCMI’s A1 Accelerator

GCMI operates an accelerator platform for select industry partners to use as a sandbox for high potential companies to mature in a measured, milestone-driven manner. These partners recommend early stage companies that they are interested in. GCMI then applies resources, guidance, facilities and world-class accelerator team to help that company reach critical development and commercialization milestones. During this process, our partners will be part of the team and kept abreast of the startup growth and difficulties, so they can contribute expert feedback and resources as needed.

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