This interview is part of our new AI in Healthcare series, where we interview the world's top thought leaders on the front lines of the intersections between AI and healthcare.
In this interview, we speak with Aaron Patzer, founder and CEO of Vital, to understand how his company is using AI to transform healthcare, and what the future of the industry holds.
1. What's the story behind your company? Why and how did you begin?
AP: After founding and selling Mint.com, I launched Vital in January 2017 with my brother-in-law, Dr. Aaron Schrager, Doctor of Emergency Medicine at Emory University Hospital. The decision to start Vital came after seeing firsthand the antiquated software that hospitals use and the need for a more productive system in emergency rooms. I invested a million dollars and two years of peer-reviewed academic study and technical research and development to create Vital, which now has Seed funding from prominent investors and placement in four hospitals.
2. Please describe your use case and how your company uses artificial intelligence:
AP: Designed to provide an easy and comprehensive view of the emergency department without requiring any local installation or maintenance, Vital uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to triage patients before they see a doctor, making it easier and faster for providers to coordinate care and prioritize patients — from assigning rooms, to ordering labs, and more. The result is a more human exchange between patient and provider, and more streamlined processes across the department.
3. Could you share a specific customer/user that benefits from what you offer? What has Vital done for them?
AP: Vital benefits both patients and clinicians. The patient-facing mobile app lets people check in to the ER and gives live wait-time updates, providing transparency and increasing peace of mind. The cloud-based clinical app gives a multi-facility view of patients, clear indications of where workflow is bottlenecked, allows note-taking on mobile devices, and predicts patient severity and how likely they are to be admitted for an overnight stay.
Vital is currently doing a pilot available across Emergency Departments of Atlanta's Emory University, Emory Johns Creek, Emory Midtown, and Emory St. Joseph’s hospitals.