Orikami meet gezondheid via testen

In the consultation room, a doctor often only gets a limited picture of how a patient is doing. Someone might talk about the pain they are feeling today, but not about how well they were doing last week. The young medical technology company Orikami has found a solution to this problem. Doctors are now able to measure how someone is really doing.

Objective

Orikami from the Dutch city of Nijmegen specializes in the development of digital biomarkers for healthcare. Their first products have recently hit the market. You can ask someone if they are tired or in pain. But you can also measure it via a test. These so-called digital biomarkers measure various indicators that tell you how someone is doing. Or about what’s not going so well. “For example, whether someone is tired, whether someone can still walk properly or whether the cognitive abilities are up to standard,” says Bert Seegers. He is one of the three owners of Orikami. “We have developed tests that very easily provide reliable and objective measurements.”

Gait analysis test

The outcomes are shared with the patient and the medical team. As a concrete example, Seegers mentions a system for MS patients, known as MS Sherpa. “There are two important indicators in this syndrome, namely mobility and cognition. We have developed tests that specifically measure how those things are progressing. For example, how far someone can walk in two minutes. You wouldn’t do a test like that every day, but you would do it every week or every two weeks.”

The purpose of the digital biomarkers is to give both the patient and the doctor more information about the course of the disease. This way you can better predict its progression, thereby giving patients more control over their lives.

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    Pilot in the hospital

    More than five years were spent developing the medical aid and getting approval for it. Recently, a pilot started working with the Orikami product at the Jeroen Bosch Hospital (JBZ) in Den Bosch. “We see that the pressure on healthcare is increasing. In the future, it will even become untenable to provide all healthcare. Therefore, we want to move more healthcare into the home,” says Hanneke van Heijst. She is project leader for Innovation e-Health at the JBZ. “Orikami’s app fits perfectly within our strategy. You can keep a better eye on someone’s health, without them having to visit the hospital. Orikami had already further developed the product and was ready for the market. That is quite an achievement, because these are lengthy processes that are subject to heavy regulation. Of course we are curious about how patients and doctors experience the app in practice. That is why we are running a three-month pilot.”

    MS Sherpa
    MS Sherpa van Orikami

    Couple of times a year

    Normally, a doctor sees a patient perhaps once or twice a year. Beyond that, the healthcare provider has to make do with the inevitable subjective information and the patient’s story in the consultation room. Seegers expects that biomarkers will probably make it possible to see more clearly and objectively how a patient or the clinical picture is progressing. He emphasizes that the measurements can help not only with (chronically) ill patients. “Think about the large group of seniors living at home, for example. You can also monitor them so that you have better insight into how someone is coping at home. For each target group, you can use specific tests that offer clinical value. We are currently discussing this with the Geriatrics Department of the Radboudumc, among others.”

    More affordable

    Digital applications and data science such as Orikami’s make it possible to make healthcare more affordable and still maintain a good level of quality. Seegers: “The disadvantage is that in the Netherlands, we have not yet reached the point of how we can implement these kinds of systems in healthcare practice. Funding for this has not yet been arranged. For example, we are currently in talks with a health insurer. However, that will not be a long-term solution. We would rather see this fall under reimbursed medical care.”

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    Collaboration

    This story is the result of a collaboration between City of Nijmegen and our editorial team. Innovation Origins is an independent journalism platform that carefully chooses its partners and only cooperates with companies and institutions that share our mission: spreading the story of innovation. This way we can offer our readers valuable stories that are created according to journalistic guidelines. Want to know more about how Innovation Origins works with other companies? Click here

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