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This Startup Zug Seeks to Release the Tired Doctors | Lucerne newspaper

Zug Sublimd's start-up software makes it much easier for doctors – and thus improves medical care.

Andreas Lorenz-Meyer

Sublimd's CEO Reto Kaul outside the Canton School in Zug, which he and his brother Thomas visited. (Image: Maria Schmid, November 20, 2019)

Sublimd's CEO Reto Kaul outside the Canton School in Zug, which he and his brother Thomas visited. (Image: Maria Schmid, November 20, 2019)

Medical treatment documentation is not only required for payment. It is also used to exchange information between doctors. In the event of complications, it may also have legal significance. However, Swiss doctors have to do too much writing today. That's what the 2016 study on the impact of new funding by hospitals says. According to this, doctors in Switzerland spend only a third of their time on "patient-friendly activities". In psychiatry and rehabilitation this is only a quarter. "Doctors spend most of their days administratively," it said. Assistants are particularly affected.

The fact that his colleagues need to document more and therefore have less time to treat, gave Doctor Reto Kaul the idea to develop software that minimizes work on documentation. A total of three doctors and one computer scientist, Kaul's brother Thomas, founded Zug start-up Sublimd in 2016 based in Hagendorn. Later another doctor came. So far, one is already five.

Doctor App Authorship Report

The Sublimd platform of the same name collects and processes data from patients, specialists and third-party systems. Kaul explains how this can save time: If a patient comes to the emergency department, the urgency of treatment is determined by triage. If the situation is not life-threatening for the patient, it is taken to the waiting room. There she gets a tablet and fills in an interactive Sublimd questionnaire. The app – like a doctor's – has all the important questions about a current problem, including pre-existing conditions or drug revenue. "There will be no more waiting time," Kaul points out. While the patient answers questions, Sublimd writes a medical certificate to the doctor. She reads the report before examining the patient. He already knows the medical problem at the reception. Much of the documentation was – incidentally – already finished. This leaves more time to talk to patients and review.

The heart of software is a chart of medical knowledge. Educates medical knowledge based on current technical literature. Four Sublimd doctors compiled a graph. "Among other things, it contains all the questions and answers used for structured self-history," Kaul explains. "The nodal points are connected in such a way that the most important patient data can be collected with as few questions as possible." In addition, the chart also includes findings from physical examination, laboratory examinations and diagnosis, and is interconnected. There are four sublime "suites": an emergency apartment for emergency departments, a clinical apartment for hospitals, an apartment for medical offices and now a telemedicine suite. Sublimda's business model is based on annual license costs, the amount of which depends on the number of consultations and modules used. Sublimd is in operation in Switzerland, Germany, and soon Austria. The emergency package is used in the emergency department in the canton of Graub√ľnden.

Exams take 15 minutes less

The first study published in the summer showed that of the 370 emergency patients surveyed, the vast majority thought the anamnesis application was easy to use and would use again. Only 37 responses were obtained by doctors – too few to make reliable forecasts. However, on average, the history would be twelve minutes faster.

The clinical suite has been in use at the Vertindelsprechstunde at Zurich University Hospital for a year now, as a specially adapted version of the consultation hour. Five to 10 patients who have dizziness daily complete a subliminal questionnaire on the tablet. Neurologist Dominic Straumann is very pleased. "The software simplifies the work of the assistant physician by providing him with a ready-made text about the patient's complaints." In addition, fewer errors occur, such as medication information. Third, the questionnaire is very comprehensive. "It would take too long in counseling to examine it all." Attending physician can fully focus on investigation through preliminary work through the software.

With the increase in quality, there is a gain in time: examinations take 15 minutes less per patient. "It saves us more money than the system costs us," Straumann notes. The fees for using Sublimd in the Vertindelsprechstunde are 20,000 francs a year. Although the university hospital does not perform quality control, there have been no complaints so far. On the contrary: "Patients are considered serious because questioning goes into detail," says Straumann, "some wonder how exactly the automatically generated text sorts out their complaints."