We are pleased to introduce you to Hilde Eylenbosch, who joins the Sentiance team as VP Healthcare. Hilde is an MD and has 20 years of experience in the life sciences and healthcare industry in marketing and product innovation.
With such an extensive experience in the health industry, what made you gravitate towards working in a startup?
Around the world, healthcare systems are under pressure and costs are rising as we all live longer. Structural reform is needed if we want to keep our healthcare systems affordable and accessible to all. I believe small, agile companies, that can adapt easily to a changing environment are better positioned to be part of the changing future than large, well established companies that have a vested interest in the status quo.
On top of that, the Sentiance technology is cutting edge when it comes to participating in the future of healthcare and has a lot of value to add by making measurements more relevant, by making their interpretation more precise and by engaging the patient in their own health. This will lead to better health outcomes for patients and lower cost for the health insurance. With Sentiance, I believe we can have a real impact on improving peoples’ health and quality of life.
The Internet of Things in the healthcare industry is starting to take shape now, how do you see this evolving in the near future?
The healthcare industry has been running behind the times when it comes to digitalization. The legal framework needed to protect an individuals’ privacy and to assure regulatory compliance, needs to be adapted for the digital revolution and this process has been slow to come about. But it will happen, as legislators have started to realize the many advantages that come with the new technologies.
As an individual, your health data can sit in your physicians’ file or at the hospital or wherever they are generated. Interoperability or better lack thereof, is another big issue that prevents data integration in the new, digital world and standards are slow to be established. Right now, measurements of all kinds are taken infrequently, usually at the doctors’ office when you have an appointment. Nobody knows what happens between visits. All that is about to change and the impact on the quality of healthcare is potentially dramatic. Think as an example of a patient with a cardiac condition who is released from hospital. If you send him home with a small, wearable monitor, an alert will be triggered when his physiological parameters, such as blood pressure, heart rate or other start to get worse; he can be contacted by the medical staff for advice or intervention before his condition deteriorates and he needs to be readmitted to the hospital with an acute event.
The internet of things has the potential to improve the quality of healthcare by a more personalized approach as well as reduce the cost to the healthcare system letting technology carry out routine and monitoring tasks that allow for an earlier, less costly intervention. The internet of things will further health science as well. Until now, generating population based evidence has been a very cumbersome, expensive undertaking with a limited number of data points in terms of measurements and an individuals’ environment.
Nowadays, with inexpensive, wearable monitors that measure parameters continuously and smart software that puts the measurements in context, we can analyze larger numbers of patients at a lower cost. This is a major breakthrough all by itself, but on top of that, the continuous monitoring and understanding of context will allow a much more sophisticated analysis of data that will lead to more specific and more personalized medical practice.
How do you think Sentiance in particular could contribute to the disruption of this industry?
Sentiance is uniquely positioned to add a layer of sophistication to the management of health parameters that will lead to more precision, more engagement and better health outcomes. Context matters, adding contextual information gives meaning to data.
Let’s take the example of a patient with a chronic heart condition. His monitor shows that his heart rate is going up and that he is sweating. The Sentiance software notices that he is running behind his dog during his daily walk and does not trigger an immediate alert. If the same parameters went up during his daily afternoon nap, an alert would be triggered.
Heart rate variability, gait variability and many other biological measurements take on a different meaning depending on what a person is doing and depending on whether or not the measurements are anomalies in the midst of their daily routines. Over time, contextual information will lead to more precise diagnosis, more personalized intervention and treatment, better patient engagement in their health and ultimately better health outcomes.
Have you installed our demo app already? What do you think your sensor data will say about you?
I am getting it installed now. I think (or is it hope) I will show up as a proactive driver, with a heavy commute, active during weekends.
Aside from work, what are you passionate about in life?
I am a social person and I love to spend time with friends and family. I care deeply about environmental issues and love to get active in my spare time with activities such as walking, cycling and sailing.
Welcome to the Sentiance team!