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As medical devices proliferate, continually monitoring patients' heart rate, body temperature, blood sugar and other measures of their health, they produce potentially overwhelming reams of data.
Portland startup AkeLex aims to corral that information to help health care providers quickly make sense of it – offering diagnoses and medical advice to patients without spending a lot of time interpreting the data.
The company has just closed its first investment round, a $1.5 million investment to help it prove the commercial viability of its so-called clinical decision support software.
"We want to help medical assistants, nurses and doctors alike perform at a much higher level with the help of technology," said Tom O'Keefe, AkeLex's chief executive.
AkeLex (pronounced "A KEE LEX" - hard a, key, lex), refers to the company's core technology, what it calls an "adaptive knowledge engine."
The ten-person business is a mix of medical and technology professionals, including founder Stephen Datena, a surgeon, and Robert Beck, a co-founder of Sequent Computer Systems. O'Keefe, who previously held executive positions at EthicsPoint and ShopIgniter, became CEO in April.
Investors in the current round include Chuck Kilo, chief medical officer at Oregon Health & Science University, and Craig Froude, managing principal at the Portland investment firm Aequitas Capital.
AkeLex is working to tap into technological and industry transformations. The "Internet of Things" – connected devices, like fitness wristbands, making their way into everyday life – make it possible to track and analyze growing volumes of information. And the Affordable Care Act has created new demand for health care services.
AkeLex, O'Keefe said, aims to help meet that demand by using technology to contain costs.
"Similar to Sarbanes-Oxley," he said, "the Affordable Care Act is a catalyst for change."