Below is our recent interview with Shivrat Chhabra, Co-Founder and CEO of Dosis:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Dosis?
A: Dosis is an AI-powered personalized dosing platform designed to change the way chronic drug regimens are managed. We’re looking to disrupt the population-based drug dosing approaches that have been the gold standard for decades, and empower healthcare providers to take a personalized approach to dose a patient based on their unique drug response profile.
Our first focus is the renal care industry, as we believe it is the ideal proving ground for innovations in personalized dosing and medicine. Variables with adherence to medication often lead to problems with the quality of data used for personalized medicine. That can be avoided in dialysis care, as dialysis patients visit a clinic for treatment three times a week, and therefore typically have consistent treatment data available.
Strategic Anemia Advisor (SAA) is our first reference tool, and personalizes the dosing of a class of drugs called Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs), which are used to treat chronic anemia. Chronic anemia is especially prevalent among kidney patients, as kidneys secrete the hormones that normally regulate red-blood-cell production, and are less able to do so as they begin to fail. SAA is currently improving anemia management for over 5,000 End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients at over 50 clinics across the country.
More than 550,000 End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients in the U.S. are currently undergoing dialysis treatment, and the vast majority of those patients experience chronic anemia. ESRD costs Medicare $34B annually, which amounts to 7% of all Medicare expenditures, despite making up 1% of the Medicare patient population. This creates a need for innovative solutions that can improve the patient experience and clinical outcomes, while also addressing the high cost of care.
Q: You’ve recently released personalized and digital medicine consumer report; could you tell us something more?
A: We’ve found in rolling out our personalized dosing platform that there continues to be a large disconnect between what consumers know about personalized medicine and its benefits.
To gain a better understanding of just how big the disconnect is between the advances in personalized and digital medicine approaches and general consumer awareness of their benefits, we commissioned a survey of 1,000 consumers.
The results were interesting. Consumer awareness of personalized medicine has risen to 33% from 29% in 2018, but growth over a longer timescale continues to be slow. Awareness has really only grown at 1% year-over-year over the last six years.
Furthermore, consumers are really diving into the digitization of the health industry and tracking their health information, but that doesn’t mean they are optimizing the use of that data with their providers to personalize health treatments just yet.
For instance, 3 in 4 consumers track personal health information on their iPhone or on a wearable device, but only 14% utilize that data for more personalized treatments.
Generation Z (18-24-year-olds) was the most likely (17%) to say they would be willing to share their tracked data from their mobile devices and wearables with their physician and were also the most likely (26%) to choose a healthcare provider based on a provider’s use of personalized medicine.
More specific to our platform, we found that 37% of consumers, and 43% of those 55+, say their prescription or medication dosages aren’t optimal or personalized enough, illustrating that there is a need for more personalized dosing alternatives.
Q: How SAA works? How exactly do you leverage the power of AI?
A: SAA helps healthcare providers determine an ESRD patient’s unique response to ESAs that are used to treat anemia, which is commonly associated with kidney failure. SAA uses AI and control algorithms to calculate each patient’s unique place on the spectrum of dose-response and provide an optimal dose recommendation to keep that patient as close to their hemoglobin target as possible over a therapeutically relevant timescale. The algorithms behind SAA are based on years of peer-reviewed research at the University of Louisville.
Q: What are the benefits for patients?
A: Exposure to high doses of ESA is associated with an increase in adverse cardiovascular events, so the primary clinical intent to use the minimum amount of ESA necessary to prevent patients from needing blood transfusions. SAA assists with this by offering physicians the tools to realize a 65% reduction in patient outlier hemoglobins and a 50% decrease in patients requiring blood transfusions, all while decreasing ESA exposure by up to 50%.
Q: What are the benefits for clinics?
A: Conventional population-based approaches require healthcare providers in dialysis clinics to spend around five minutes per patient to determine the next ESA dose. Dosis’ personalized dosing platform provides a cloud-based reference tool, based on years of peer-reviewed research, that cuts the time spent on determining the new ESA dose to 30 to 45 seconds per patient. Moreover, this personalized approach allows clinics to reduce their ESA spend by up to 50%, or ~$2,500 per patient per year.
Q: What can we expect from your company in the future?
A: Our personalized dosing platform is scalable and shows promise for use with other drugs and on other conditions. We are working on releasing a dosing module for IV Iron later this year, as well as a dosing module for the drugs used to manage Mineral-Bone Disorders next year. We plan to first bring these additional AI-powered products to the renal care industry before exploring applications outside the renal space.