Amid Covid-19, the gaps in research on managing outbreaks of infectious diseases have perhaps never been so visible or important.
Even before the pandemic, the medical research space has always been dealing with new ways of therapy and prevention. With guidance constantly arriving from different sources and locations, Durham-based Custom Clinical Decision Support has emerged to help clinicians work faster, save money and increase patient safety. The startup will be presenting next week at CED’s Venture Connect Summit on April 7 in RTP. [We previewed the event here.]
The Duke University startup’s primary product, CustomID, is a decision support tool that offers institution-specific, customizable information about the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.
Without the cloud and web-based tool, pharmacists must rely on a hardcopy booklet, which often becomes immediately out of date as policies change, medication shortages occur and patterns of antibiotic resistance worsen. But now, with CustomID, medical guidance is easily added and immediately accessible to clinicians.
Dr. Martha Adams, Custom’s CEO, has been a general medicine doctor for decades, but her side passion has always been in informatics. After running into a pharmacist who specialized in infectious diseases, Adams began a conversation on the difficulties of receiving updated guidelines on medications. So right then and there, the idea for Custom was born. They could create the solution as an application for doctors and pharmacists to access electronically.
“We have seen with trainees, a resident or fellow or pharmacist, that they wish they had that tool, and we weren’t in a position previously to be able to offer it,” Adams said.
In 2015, CustomID was the recipient of the Duke Chancellor’s Innovation Award for $75,000 to enhance its tech. Individual hospital systems (like Duke) and other customers can use CustomID as a white-label solution and apply its own branding, such as in the example in the main image above.
“Another differentiator for us in the market is that we can scale easily,” Adams said. “We can push content from the central authority, the central hospital stewardship team.”
While the target industry sector is healthcare, Custom sees its market as the full spectrum of healthcare delivery from acute care to nursing homes to urgent care clinics.
“As a physician, the biggest impact is being able to impact patient quality of care and safety,” Adams said. “As a business person, it’s to get a return on investment, and I like to balance both of those. My first priority as a physician is to make you well.”
By using CustomID as a content management system, doctors can speed up time looking for information for a patient.
“We’ve been able to increase efficiencies,” Adams said. “We’ve been able to keep up with the pandemic, which was a major deal this past year.”
Adams said Custom is looking forward to presenting at Venture Connect. Currently, they are looking for investments to help expand their staff, grow regionally and develop a mobile app so that doctors can access their tool even more easily.
“The most exciting thing to me yet, really, is the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED),” Adams said. “They asked great questions. I had a good time responding, and I’m tickled that they’re going to let me use [their platform], and I hope I meet some venture people that are interested in us.”