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Nurse Invented, Automated Patient Monitoring
Episode

Paul Coyne, President and co-founder of Inspiren

Nurse Invented, Automated Patient Monitoring

In this episode of the SONSIEL Series, I have the privilege of hosting the amazing Paul Coyne, President and Co-Founder of Inspiren, and a Founding Member of SONSIEL. Paul has an extraordinary human being! He has three master’s degrees and a doctorate, all obtained in a four-year period. 

 

Paul talks to us about his inspiration in healthcare, why he chose to be in the healthcare industry, and how his company provides assistance to patients’ solitude and safety issues by leveraging advanced AI/machine vision technology. He shares his insights on misconceptions about nurses and how his nursing team provided solutions to a problem. This is a very inspiring interview packed with insights so get your notes ready!

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Nurse Invented, Automated Patient Monitoring

About Paul Coyne

Paul is the President and co-founder of Inspiren, a nurse-led health care technology company whose flagship solution has received over 20 awards for design and innovation from Fast Company, Edison Time, and the American Nurses Association. Coyne has been named Crain’s 40 under 40, AI as an Artificial Intelligence person of the Year by the Global Achievement Artificial Intelligence Awards, and a top twenty-five innovator by Modern Health Care. In addition to his role at Inspiren, he’s a nurse practitioner and CNIO at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Coyne obtained three master’s degrees and a doctorate in a four-year period to transition into health care after beginning his career at Goldman Sachs. He’s an author, the author of the Nurses Guide to Innovation, and is a founding member of SONSIEL. 

Outcomes Rocket Podcast_Paul Coyne.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Outcomes Rocket Podcast_Paul Coyne.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, Outcomes Rocket Nation, Saul Marquez here. Have you heard of SONSIEL? That’s the Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Leaders. We’ve teamed up with them to put together a podcast series for nurses. In this 12-part series we’ll magnify and elevate nurse innovators’ expertise as transformation agents who contribute to health care reform and improved outcomes. Through interviews with these amazing nurse leaders and innovators, we’ll help you connect the dots in a world where nurses are significant leaders recognized for transforming health care and society. Visit outcomesrocket.health/sonsiel to learn more. That’s outcomesrocket.health/sonsiel to learn more.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, everyone, and welcome back to the SONSIEL series on nursing. Today, I have the privilege of hosting the amazing Paul Coyne. He’s the President and co-founder of Inspiren, a nurse-led health care technology company whose flagship solution has received over 20 awards for design and innovation from Fast Company, Edison Time, and the American Nurses Association. Coyne has been named Crain’s 40 under 40, AI as an Artificial Intelligence person of the Year by the Global Achievement Artificial Intelligence Awards and a top twenty-five innovator by Modern Health Care. In addition to his role at Inspiren, he’s a nurse practitioner and CNIO at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Coyne obtained three master’s degrees and a doctorate in a four-year period to transition into health care after beginning his career at Goldman Sachs. He’s an author, the author of the Nurses Guide to Innovation, and is a founding member of SONSIEL, the organization that we’re doing this series on behalf of. So, Paul, such a pleasure to have you here.

Paul Coyne:
Thanks so much for having me.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. And man, what an interesting background. So you started off at Goldman Sachs and then you said, I want to do something else and you got three master’s degrees and a doctorate and then became a nurse. So I just want to start off by asking you about that and kind of what inspires your work in health care.

Paul Coyne:
Sure. Of course. I was born with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. That’s heart disease where the walls of the ventricle are too thick. And so as a result of that illness, I suffered a stroke at the age of twenty-two and had memory loss and difficulty speaking, and a right-sided limp. And the three or four years that I was at Goldman, I overcame my stroke deficits but continue to live with underlying heart disease and actually be having surgery next month for a pacemaker battery replacement because the battery dies every once in a while and need the battery. So whether it’s no matter how successful I am, I always identify first as a patient. So the greatest inspiration for my work in health care has just been to use my talents to create an environment that I, as the patient, find safe and compassionate and optimal. So that’s always been my primary motivation for why I chose the field and why I’m so passionate about helping it.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, now, that’s amazing, Paul, I appreciate you sharing your story. And it’s a powerful one, both as a patient, accessing the system and also a nurse and even starting as a money guy. You know, all of these things matter greatly in health care business and also the provider piece of it. So talk to us about how you and your organization are adding value to the health care ecosystem through Inspiron.

Paul Coyne:
Sure. So there’s really no greater feeling of vulnerability than to be flying alone and in a hospital bed. I know that firsthand. But if you stop and think about it, there aren’t many technology solutions that are deliberately created to alleviate that vulnerability. So normally technology gets created and then someone attempts to make that fit into the patient care setting and inspiring for one of the first times a group of practicing nurses set out to change this. And we assembled a team of data engineers and we sent a lot of e-mails until we found enough people to help us. And we’re fortunate enough to find people from NASA and MIT and Columbia. And really over the last three or four years, nurses and the technologists worked side by side to create what’s now known as Hoyg. And Hogy this device was created at Inspiren, and it’s a hybrid sensing, a wall-mounted device that’s placed above the patient’s bed, that uses the fusion of computer vision, Bluetooth, low energy, and a host of environmental sensors to analyze the physical, digital and auditory environment of the patient room so that data collection, simultaneously classified and aggregated and stored it has vast implications for how care is delivered and most importantly for our patients kept safe. We’ve used the technology to do everything from reducing falls and pressure injuries to ensure that patients are checked on at least once per hour, reward nurses for spending more time with patients, optimize staffing according to patient intensity, and also alleviate the burden of charting. So we’re just started getting started in terms of all of the technology implications that this device has on the care setting. But that’s what we’ve done so far.

Saul Marquez:
Fascinating. So this is really interesting. So this problem of solitude and really being far away from a caregiver produces the patient safety issue. And so the device that you guys have come up with, powered by software really helps kind of bridge that gap. I’d love to learn more about it, but also talk to us about what actually makes the device and the overall platform different or better than what’s available today.

Paul Coyne:
So most hospitals and nursing homes either have no technology resembling anything like Hogy or they have antiquated technology that does some of what it does, but not very well. So the newer companies that are entering the space, they pick one technology and they bring it to market. But no underlying technology can solve for every use case. So there are companies out there, for example, that use Computer vision for false prevention. That’s the same thing like your Xbox Kinect or self-driving vehicle that turns the body into a stick figure and makes algorithms and determinations based off of that. Hogy does that using computer vision. Then there are other companies that use Bluetooth, low energy, the same technology that you use to pair your cell phone to the car radio/ companies use that and other IoT solutions to transform the RTLS or the real-time location services market for things like staff efficacy and asset tracking. There are also companies out there that use speakers and microphones and Alexa-type solutions to reduce the burden of charting. And each one of those is great for what they solve. But they’re problematic because hospitals have to them by multiple pieces of hardware, put them all up on the wall and then attempt to integrate them with each other and then also integrate with their existing electronic health record and try to come up with some way to create meaningful data that is useful to the front line nurse. And so it’s actually it all sounds great when each one is sort of selling what they’re selling, but it’s actually impossible or near impossible due to the complexity, purely from a logistical perspective, even before you account for the analytic complexity that it’s needed to merge those data sets. So Inspiren patented a technology on a hybrid sensing platform using Edge AI to fuse locally at each base station. The various inputs from the multitude of those sensors computer vision, Bluetooth and audio, physical, digital, and audio to classify those events into simple data elements and then send it up to the cloud and then push it back down to a host of mobile and desktop applications. So the real proprietary and innovative thing that we’ve done is not create any of those technologies, but really fuse those three computer vision, Bluetooth, and audio in a way that adds exponential synergy.

Saul Marquez:
Fascinating. Now that this is very good. And so how about, like the patient monitoring devices?

Paul Coyne:
The current ones that exist in the market?

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, like I mean, say we’re I guess we’re talking acute care setting somebodies in a metasearch floor. They got oximetry and they’ve got ECG, et cetera, like are those streaming into this thing or?

Paul Coyne:
Any Bluetooth-enabled device would stream that data into this. That’s its function as an IOT hub. Absolutely. And then the computer vision aspect would alert if the patient were to get out of bed or if the patient has been turned in a while. So the diffusion of those two things in one hub,

Saul Marquez:
This would be very cool. Very cool. Now, this is very interesting. Paul, I appreciate the insight to really understand how it works. So it’s really using all three of these technologies to really bridge that gap. You know, there’s a ton that that went into work at this and you’re a nurse and work with nurses and physicians. But what do you believe? People need to know that maybe they don’t know about the role of nursing and improving health and outcomes?

Paul Coyne:
Yeah. So I think the general public and even many people that work in hospitals have extreme misconceptions about what the nurses and therefore, as a result, the nurse and the skillset of the nurse are not utilized properly, not only in the health care environment, their job or the value that they could add to the organization that they work at, but also beyond it, particularly regarding technology development and also health care policy. I mean, the nurses trained in both an art and a science. Both are extremely rigorous to study and to master. Nurses are trained to view a problem subjectively, but also objectively. It’s the role it’s best able to treat the physical and emotional aspects of a patient. And we continue to learn more and more that if both the physical and emotional aspects are not healed, then both will suffer. But most importantly, I think the nurse’s role is to advocate for the true need of a patient, and that’s not a fluffy pie in the sky feel-good rhetoric about the patient needing to be in the center. It’s a growing necessity. We have a fragmented health care system. We have a fragmented care paradigm, and we have a fragmented health care technology, as I just laid out. And that’s what I was trying to fix. But any of those fragments result in wasteful spending, inefficient use of labor, and most importantly, poor patient outcomes. I find it unacceptable both as a patient and a provider now. And I believe that the only way to begin to pull it together is to put nursing at the forefront because that means that the patient will again be at the forefront.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, well said. Yeah, I do agree. And I would include myself in the group of people that hasn’t been well educated on the role of nursing. And I’ll tell you, this series, this SONSIEL series, Paul, has been an education For me, as I’m sure it has been for all of the listeners. It’s just been an incredible opportunity to understand the breadth and the depth and the different access points that nurses influence and also are a part of that could mean incredible, incredible insights for any organization and company looking to leverage them as an input source for what they’re doing. And so around kind of the things that you have seen, give us an example of when you saw your nursing team or even yourself provide a great solution to a problem.

Paul Coyne:
Yes. So during COVID, actually, Inspiren technology was deployed at Queens Hospital, and when they were using the device as a way to improve protocol compliance, early rounding and stop falls and very quickly patients started testing positive for COVID. And there was an imminent need to know which members of the care team came in contact with each patient. And there was really no good way of knowing this across the country. And a lot of hospitals started having a piece of paper where the people would sign in and out before they entered each room. And some of the nurses on our team said, hey, can we repurpose the data that we’re generating for Inspiren and give reports of who visited each bed? And they worked with our tech team to not only do that but to use the computer vision aspects of the technology to report if PPE or mask was secure at all times. So without the nurse charting or writing anything if the patient tested positive for COVID, Inspiren was able to provide reports of everyone who entered that space, how long the visit lasted, the proximity to the source patient, if they were within six feet or not, and if they had their mask on at all times. And that was purely out of the nurse’s desire to make sure that they knew if someone they came in contact with tested positive for Covid, which is sort of the bare minimum that we could do for those on the front line. And unfortunately, it was a struggle. So they also wanted to limit exposure and the time in the room, but also maintain the same level of safety for their patients. So we worked together with the nursing team to develop a new remote monitoring solution that allowed for virtual visitation of patients in the isolation rooms so that they were able to check on them while still maintaining some sort of distance while maintaining that same level of safety. And I think both of those examples sort of driven by nurses and using our technology in a new way that wouldn’t have been sort of only the front line nurse would have known that that was what was needed, because they’re the ones that are in it

Saul Marquez:
Now. That’s a great, great example. Thank you for that, Paul. And just thinking through a lot of the existing assets and resources that we have, are we maximizing their capability, and are we finding new ways that we could leverage existing assets, resources, software, etc.? The answer is there’s a lot of untapped potential. And Paul has just kind of outlined for us. Let’s ask the nurses, see what they think, what can we do extra with what we have? And I’m sure you’ll get a lot of great responses. Let’s talk about setbacks. Paul, what’s one of the biggest ones you’ve experienced and a key learning that came out of that?

Paul Coyne:
I mentioned at the beginning that I had a stroke. That’s obviously a setback. But there’s one that I don’t mention and I’ve started to just recently answer this question in a new way, just in my own growth. And actually, When I was twenty-six, I recovered from the stroke that I had four years before. And I Was very successful at Goldman Sachs and I was working and I had worked for years to be able to speak again and not limp and sort of out of nowhere, this new manifestation of the stroke lesion appeared and I developed what is known as tonic-clonic spasms, and the right side of my body would tense up and become rigid. And I’d fall over and shake in what sort of resembles a seizure. But it’s a different underlying etiology. And these events kept happening while I was at Goldman. And finally, after they kept happening over and over again, Goldman HR determined that long-term disability was what would be the next step. And so it’s probably the greatest setback of my life because there I was. I overcame a stroke and I work for four years to be OK. And then I still was just not OK. And it was such a difficult time for me to finally think I reached the end and then be pushed back and have more to go. So I was just compelled to never feel like that again. And so I went back to a lot of school like you mentioned at the beginning, and I got an MBA and a Masters in Finance and three additional degrees in Nursing from Columbia. And I went to all those schools in a four-year period. And the key learning for everyone else, of course, is that failure, much like an innovation or in life or anything, that failure is never absolute, That each day is a chance to try again. And it’s never too late to redefine who you are. But the learning for me now looking back, was that motivated was driven so much by what I did not want to be, that I was singularly focused on what I didn’t want to be. I didn’t want to be sick anymore. And it was powerful and perhaps it was necessary. But I think a singular focus leaves everything that is in the periphery not seen and in life, much like innovation. If you push some of the reality out into the periphery, you miss a lot. And so a 360 view of the world is needed. And I think that drive that I had during the period of singular focus of the stroke, sort of coupled with the ability and the desire now to look holistically at the world, is what made me a successful innovator and not myopic. So I think the technology and the philosophy of nurse-led innovation has a lot of parallels to my own life that I think others could learn from.

Saul Marquez:
And now what a great story. Paul, thank you for sharing that. I mean, I just can’t imagine you had overcome it and then, boom, you get hit with it again. And then you went to school and you just wanted some answers. Right. And you just you learn so much. And now you surfaced again doing something different, but just so meaningful and providing inspiration here on this podcast today for all the listeners that maybe might feel like they’re at the edge or at the end of their rope, failure is not an. Let’s take a note from Paul here and make the most out of our new days, because those new days do provide new opportunities and it’s important that we look at that 360 and also get focused. Man, so valuable. Paul, I really appreciate this. What would you say you’re most excited about today?

Paul Coyne:
Yes. I mean, health care and innovation. I know that’s a topic of the series, but it really is what excites me and true innovation, Not just put it up on a poster and say everybody the but real innovation of frontline clinicians, particularly nurses. But any frontline clinician that’s engaged in health care innovation, I think it’s so exciting. And I think if it’s harnessed properly, I think it’s going to lead to one of the greatest positive leaps in health care delivery that we’ve seen. The emergence of these nurse-led hackathon is happening where companies like Microsoft Partner with nursing organizations to have full weekends, where technologists and nurses join virtually to create products and potentially launch companies together. These kinds of events that bridge the chasm that existed in the past between technologists and nurses by nature of those people working in separate companies, in separate locations, and they just didn’t have any means or medium by which to congregate. So inspiring was successful because we did this with tech and clinical folks working side by side. And I think these actions in this collaboration and everything that’s coming out of this frontline clinical movement just accelerates the speed at which others can do this, too. And I think that’s wonderful. I also think that COVID has brought really to the forefront of people’s minds not only the need for nurses and patient aare, but the need for nurses in innovation, in health care, administration, politics, everything. And I really think there’s there’s a growing role for the nurse in so many areas that it’s really limitless. And I’m just excited to see the impact of the nurse on this broader scale.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that’s awesome. I’m excited, too, Paul. And you call it a front-line innovation movement. I love that. That’s a great way to coin this because it’s happening. And for those of us that want to open up our eyes and ears to that fact that the nurse innovation, the front line innovation movement is happening, I think great things ahead because we’re going to create some great things together. And for those that don’t want to hear and see, you’re going to miss out. So make your choice. This is the opportunity. So, Paul, I’ve enjoyed this so much. Give us a closing thought. What should we be thinking about at the end of this podcast that after we finish listening to it and what’s the best place that the listeners can get in touch with you?

Paul Coyne:
Sure. So, yeah, I know it’s been a great privilege to be on this show today. I’ve been a listener for quite some time and I’m very fortunate to have the platform to speak to so many of your listeners. And I was thinking about it this week. And I have this platform, I suppose, because of everything that I shared with you. I’ve been fortunate enough to overcome a stroke and get six degrees and start companies and be successful. But even with all that, if I were to apply to many positions in health care in a traditional health care administration, I would get sort of auto rejected because I don’t fit the criteria. I think health care hasn’t really embraced sort of thinking outside the box in terms of roles that different people can have, particularly large academic medical centers, the health care in general. I’ve only worked in health care for seven years. I’ve only worked in Finance for four. So I’ve only worked in tech and analytics for four or five through my startup company. But I’m one of the few people that has any true experience at all, but it’s still sort of rejected. And so I guess the takeaway from that is I guess people listen to me and I guess it’s impressive, but I have to make that path and lay it out for myself. And I just know that many people won’t make the path for themselves. And I think we need to make the path easier so that much more talent will be able to walk down that path and then add value. So I guess the takeaway is, if you’re a Ceo or really listening if you please ask yourself whose thoughts and insights do I not know exist because of how my organization is structured? What talent am I missing out on? Instead of thinking that a nurse takes care of the patients, it makes the computer systems work and finance takes care of the budget. I ask who is able to help the organization bridge across health care, business and technology and instead put the patient back at the center? And I think if people do that, they’ll find more often than not that the answer is the nurse.

Saul Marquez:
That’s awesome. Yeah, well said. I agree with you. Paul asked those questions. I’ve been asking them a lot through this series, and I hope you have been, too. Paul, just phenomenal. Outside of Inspirennetwork.com how do the listeners get in touch with you.

Paul Coyne:
So, yes, I’m very active on LinkedIn. I think a lot of the founders are. I think it’s a great platform. And nurses and clinicians and everyone to see if you reach out to me on their search for Paul Coyne, I’ll respond as well. Many others help leads onto the island. Or I could be reached via email at Paul@inspiren.com. I did really do my best to respond to everyone who reaches out, and I really enjoy speaking with anyone who wants to speak.

Saul Marquez:
Awesome, Paul. Well, there you Go, folks. Take Paul up for it, send them on LinkedIn message, email him, get the innovation. Go in. Don’t stop at the idea. Take action. That’s how we’re going to make things happen. So, Paul, I really appreciate you jumping on. This has been a lot of fun and looking forward to being in touch.

Paul Coyne:
Thank you so much.

Saul Marquez:
Thanks for tuning in to the same school nurse leadership series for the Show notes and to learn more about how you can. Have nurses join your mission. Visit us at Outcomes Rocket Health Sciences, all that’s outcomes, rocket that Helgason call.

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Things to Learn

  • Nurses are an untapped potential. Ask your nurses for ideas and you’ll get great responses. 
  • Failure, much like innovation and life, is never absolute. Each day is a chance to try again. It’s never too late to redefine who you are.
  • You need a 360 view of the world. 
  • The front-line innovation movement is happening.
  • Lay a path for yourself. 

 

Resources:

 

Website: https://inspiren.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulecoyne/

Email: paul@inspiren.com