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Rodrigo Barnes

In an industry facing complex challenges, Aridhia’s aim is simple – to support the management of chronic diseases via the use of health informatics.

Delivering the right care to the right people at the right time

Rodrigo Barnes said: “The future of medicine is about personalisation - matching the individual needs of a person with the healthcare system while, at the same time, meeting the challenge of increasing cost efficiencies within that system.”

Aridhia helps healthcare providers deliver safe, efficient and cost effective patient-centred care. It offers a collaborative environment where researchers can analyse data to expand their knowledge of disease trends, effective treatments and potential new therapeutic approaches.

International growth through collaboration

A spin-out from the University of Dundee, the company has used collaboration with key partners as the basis for its growth.

Rodrigo Barnes said: “Our involvement with NHS Tayside on a diabetes research project in Kuwait dates back to 2007 and is a good example of the important part which collaboration has played in our development.”

The Kuwait Scotland eHealth Innovation Network saw Aridhia and its partners in Dundee University and NHS Tayside work with Kuwait’s Ministry of Health and the country’s Dasman Diabetes Institute to devise a package of solutions for in-depth research into diabetes, including establishing a 'smart learning' programme for more than 100 MSc students.

A model already developed for use in Tayside, which has built a strong reputation for the high quality of its information and knowledge of the diabetes population, was customised for use in Kuwait. This led to all primary health care clinics and hospitals in the region being linked to the Kuwait Health Network, bringing the benefits of an electronic health record to a population of 600,000 patients.

“We have also worked alongside partners in Australia on a system for the remote monitoring of outpatients with non-emergency chronic conditions - for example, patients with cancer living at home while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.”

The system allows patients to use a standard mobile device to complete questionnaires to record vital clinical data such as body temperature, signs of infection and other common side effects of chemotherapy treatment such as nausea and vomiting. The questionnaires are automatically assessed and responded to by the patients’ healthcare team.

“By using data more effectively, we can help clinicians to focus on predictive and pre-emptive care, making it better suited to the patient’s needs and, therefore, more sustainable for the healthcare sector.”

That commitment to collaboration lies behind Aridhia’s decision to join the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, an international coalition which aims to improve health by maximising the potential of genomic medicine via data sharing.

“We chose to participate as we believe we have an important contribution to make because of our expertise in clinical records. However, the ability to connect with world-class operators and learn more about the effective use of genomic data is a fantastic opportunity.

“The challenge for the healthcare industry is to accelerate innovation, getting ideas out of the lab and into commercial use, and that’s an area in which Scotland has demonstrated considerable expertise."

Why Scotland?

Rodrigo Barnes said: “As far as Scotland is concerned, we have benefited from the abundance of skills in the community of software engineers and clinical experts which is available to the sector here. 

“There’s a fantastic knowledge economy in Scotland, which genuinely sets it apart from other locations and is a major benefit in turning ideas into viable commercial propositions. There’s also a willingness to try things, which makes it a great place to develop new products and solutions, and strong integration between healthcare operators, universities and the infrastructure, all of which is underpinned by the high quality of electronic health records.”

Aridhia’s AnalytiXagility platform, which allows users to link and analyse complex data sets, is a key element in the work being done by the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SM-IC), which brings together experts from academia, industry and the NHS in Scotland to implement a biomedical informatics service.

“As the lead commercial partner for SMS-IC, we will provide the platform and expertise needed to collect and analyse the vast amount of data required to realise the potential of stratified medicine.

“Health informatics, by its very nature, involves playing a long game to get results, but the investment which Scotland is making in this area has the potential to make a huge contribution to the delivery of quality global healthcare over the next three to five years.”

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