WilmingtonBiz Magazine

Health Tech Firm Boosts Fight Against Sepsis

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Jun 20, 2024
(Photo by Madeline Gray)
Wilmington-based health technology company Predicate Healthcare Performance Group (HPG) has been drawing attention in recent months.

Predicate uses its AI software platform, OpenDX, to help health care providers diagnose sepsis. The technology will likely expand to help treat a host of illnesses in the future.

Morris Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of the AI health care company, said he and his team are in the midst of completing clinical trials around the world to compile a diverse dataset for the technology.

“Right now we’re hyper-focused on finishing our clinical trials,” Nguyen said. “We are traveling to Ghana, the Philippines, to Ireland later this year. And then once we’ve finished our clinical trials, then we can start implementing.”

The company in May was named Coastal Entrepreneur of the Year as part of the annual Coastal Entrepreneur Awards, a joint program between the Greater Wilmington Business Journal and University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The same week, Predicate also took home $10,000 for third place in the N.C. Biotechnology Center’s NC Biotech Venture Challenge Southeastern Venture Pitch Finals.

It was also among the 125 companies selected by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development to pitch to an audience of hundreds of investors at CED Venture Connect this spring. And Predicate was included in the 12-week Raleigh-based RIoT Accelerator Program this year.

The intersection of medicine and technology sits at the core of Predicate.

Predicate uses a chest sensor to aid health care workers in detecting signs of sepsis. Sepsis is a deadly reaction to infection in the body. But the signs of this condition are difficult to diagnose and easy to miss, Nguyen said.

After pitching Predicate to a room of other entrepreneurs and investors, Nguyen said people have one of two reactions: They either know someone who has gone through sepsis and note how important his technology is, or they did not know sepsis was a big issue in the health care field.
(Photo by Madeline Gray)
Sepsis can present in many forms depending on the patient. Nguyen’s team aims to use Predicate’s product – a mix of the sensor, recorded verbal cues and artificial intelligence monitored by a physician – to catch early signs of sepsis regardless of the form.

“There is an algorithm in the software that looks at arrhythmias because arrhythmias detection is important for sepsis,” he said. “And then we also look at respiratory rate and temperature. That’s all from just that one chest sensor.”

The company started as a consulting firm in 2018, Nguyen said. It transformed into its current form in March 2023.

He and his co-founder, Kody Roza, pivoted the company using what they had learned as medical consultants.

With its renewed focus, Nguyen and Roza have traveled around the world, speaking in South America, Asia, Europe and Africa.

Nguyen’s ability to grow and scale a technology business in Wilmington is a testament to the region’s mounting influence as a technology and health care hub. Being a part of an early-stage ecosystem with such potential is exciting, he said.

The Predicate team has big plans for this year by diversifying the training data for the AI model embedded in its software by traveling internationally. They also plan to continue to train the model in the U.S.

“It’s our responsibility as AI tech developers to train our models on the most heterogenous diverse patient cohorts possible,” Nguyen said. “And also, it allows us to show the world what we’re creating and how we can impact health care delivery.”
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