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Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS)
December 2023

In recent years, the remarkable surge in the prominence of AI has revolutionized countless industries. With its ability to process vast volumes of data, recognize patterns, and make informed decisions, AI has reshaped the way society has approached problem-solving and innovation. In the same manner, healthcare - an industry traditionally defined by its risk aversion and conservative uptake of technology, has seen transformative influence by the presence of AI technology. However, in a field that is still dominated by human expertise, experience and decision-making, the rise in Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSSs) represents a pivotal shift, as it introduces a powerful technology-driven resource that is capable of enhancing and, in some cases, even automating critical healthcare decisions.

 

CDSSs were first introduced in the 1980s and have since experienced a significant increase in adoption and effectiveness within the US healthcare system. This growth has been fueled, in part, by endorsements from the US government, primarily through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. This initiative played a pivotal role in fostering the growth of CDSSs by incentivizing healthcare providers to adopt EHRs and related Health Information Technology Systems, which in turn created a robust foundation and ecosystem for the integration and utilization of CDSSs in clinical workflows. As a result, today, CDSSs represents a $2.1B market value, with a projection of $3.81B by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.83%. Estimates also reveal that in 2013, 41% of US Hospitals with an EHR system also has a CDSS functionality adjacent to it, with the percentage increasing to 90% in hospitals and 80% in clinics in 2017.

 

With very high adoption rates, it comes to no surprise that the CDSS market is a relatively saturated market with an even blend of large corporations to early-stage startups all involved in the space fighting for a slice of the market. Large established entities in the space include:

 

Siemens Healthineers

Siemens Healthineers has a number of products in the CDSS space such as the AI RAD Companion which is an AI powered cloud app to help with analyzing CT, X-Ray and MRI scans of the brain, prostate, chest, and other organs, the Prisca System, which is a CDSS for prenatal risk calculation based on biochemical markers, ultrasound measurement, and patient medical history, and the Medicalis, which is a cloud-based CDSS mechanism to ensure compliance with the Appropriate Use Criteria program. However, most notably, their Protis Data Management System and Protis Assessment Software is their most comprehensive CDSS. The data management system consolidates a patient’s test result from different platforms into a single graphical report, whilst the assessment software helps physician interpret clinical data.

 

Merative (formerly IBM Watson Health)

In 2022 IBM divested and spun-off their Watson Health division to form Merative which was acquired by Francisco Partners, a Private Equity firm based in San Francisco. Merative’s CDSS platform called Micromedex has seven core capabilities to offer providers and clinicians everything needed to make informed decisions – these capabilities include: core drug references, expanded drug references, neonatal and pediatrics content, toxicology, drug supplier and pricing data, formulary content, and patient education content. Furthermore, through a partnership with DynaMed, DynaMedex was created to seamlessly combine disease and condition information from DynaMed, and drug and interaction insights from Micromedex to create an all-in-one solution for optimal provider experience.

 

While several established leaders dominate the CDSS landscape, Brooks Hill Partners has identified several emerging startups with the potential to introduce innovative solutions that address unmet needs and gaps within this already saturated and competitive space.

 

Glass Health

Glass Health is a Seed Stage Startup that provides physicians and clinicians access to AI-assisted diagnosis and clinical decision-making suggestions via their differential diagnoses and clinical plan drafting software. Equipped with an in-house evidence-based, peer-reviewed, clinical guideline community library, Glass Health creates a closed CDSS network that aims to increase diagnostic accuracy, improve patient outcomes, and eliminate clinician burnout. Further, a simple UI/UX platform makes Glass Health’s CDSS system easy to use.

 

Curbside Health

Curbside Health is a Seed Stage Startup that aims to align administrative priorities with clinical actions that drive outcomes through an end-to-end clinical effectiveness solution. As a result, Curbside Health has developed tools for medical organizations to build and customize their own clinical practice guideline, manage and maintain their clinical guidelines, implement the guideline into their respective EHR Systems, and extract Analytical Insights on the performance usage of the implemented clinical guidelines.

 

Clearstep Health

Clearstep is a Seed Stage Startup that provides clinical-grade AI assistant dedicated towards patients that helps them navigate the patient journey as well as optimize care team efficiency on the provider side. The company has three products available: a virtual triage symptom checker, a patient engagement chatbot, and a patient care navigation software. Together, these solutions provide patients with the ability to accurately self-navigate to the right care and services needed, whilst also providing physicians greater insights and efficiency with the built-in clinical AI workflow automation.

 

AvoMD

AvoMD is a Seed Stage Startup that digitizes and optimizes the latest clinical evidence for point-of-care usage and adoption. AvoMD allows medical organizations to ultimately increase the usage of clinical pathways and other critical information by allowing physicians and clinicians to use and access medical information at the bedside through their point-of-care app and clinical pathway builder (AvoBuilder).

 

CDSSs have become indispensable tools in today’s healthcare setting, offering real-time, data-driven insights that empower physicians and clinicians to make informed decisions. These systems, by leveraging advanced technology and vast data repositories, enhance diagnoses, treatment plans, and overall patient care. Their ability to analyze complex data, predict outcomes, and provide tailored recommendations significantly boosts efficiency, reduces errors, and ultimately leads to improved patient outcomes. It is evident that CDSSs have come a long way, but the need to embrace and advance these systems aligns with the continually evolving healthcare landscape, one that is defined by enhanced precision, quality, and efficiency.

For more information on CDSS revisit our earlier posts:

 

References:

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