Originally, BIOS Health began life as Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems (CBAS). However, as the technology and the company grew, we realised that we had the potential to make a much more powerful impact on the future of healthcare, and a change of name and direction were necessary.
Susie Lee, our Data Scientist and RHP Delivery Lead has witnessed many exciting developments over the last four years at BIOS Health and shares some of her experiences.
Tell us about your role and main responsibilities at BIOS
I split my time between two roles, which are Remote Health Platform (RHP) Delivery Lead and Data Scientist for Digital Biomarkers.
As RHP Delivery Lead, I work with our excellent team to make sure that we are staying on track to meet the short-term and long-term goals for our Remote Health Platform. The BIOS Remote Health Platform, which we often refer to as RHP, uses a combination of wearable devices and mobile apps to monitor a patient’s health. This enables clinicians to get accurate and objective information about how their patients are doing while they’re at home, and in the future could be used for closed-loop optimisation of treatments. My job is to work with the team to establish timelines and track technical work packages to deliver RHP to our users.
As Data Scientist for Digital Biomarkers, my job is to find meaningful medical information in various types of patient data. I work on developing various analytical, statistical and machine learning methods to extract insights from biosensor readings and other data. When these methods are being used to develop a medical device, I’ll also do any necessary validation and documentation to show that the methods are accurate and reliable. I’m currently working on extracting indicators of autonomic health from biosensor data, so that clinicians can monitor their patients’ nervous system function without a visit to the clinic.
The Remote Health Platform enables patients with heart failure, stroke, lung conditions and other diseases to monitor their health by using an app and fitness tracker. The results are shared via an online portal with the patient’s doctor for review.
What led you to get into this line of work?
I’ve always been interested in the brain and wanted to do something related to healthcare. While I was doing my undergraduate degree, which was in neuroscience with a minor in computer science, I became interested in brain-machine interfaces and how cutting-edge technologies can be used in healthcare. I wanted to learn more about clinical applications of technology, so I chose to do a master’s degree at UCL in rehabilitation engineering and assistive technologies, which was based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London.
I worked on a project using machine learning to make prosthetic arms easier to use through activity recognition. There was a lot of overlap between what that lab did and what BIOS was working on, which was how I ended up applying for an internship. Now I get to work on applying exciting cutting-edge technologies for the benefit of patients with chronic diseases through our work here at BIOS.
What have been the highlights of your career prior to working with BIOS?
Before BIOS, I really enjoyed my research in cognitive neuroscience, including applying machine learning to neuroimaging data to model cognitive processes. I also worked in a lab on slowing cancer cell migration.
What do you like best about your job?
In addition to thoroughly enjoying working with my colleagues – who are an exceptional group of people -- I like being part of the RHP team on a medical device that is certified for use in patients. I appreciate the fact that the work we do directly helps patients.
What projects have you particularly enjoyed working on at BIOS?
I’ve been lucky since joining BIOS in that I have worked on a wide variety of projects, from looking for cardiac biomarkers in neural data to monitoring mobility through smartwatch measurements.
When I first joined, we were working mostly in the mobility space because the company was geared towards amputees. The Remote Health Platform can still be applied in that space, but since I joined there have been a few projects on using non-invasive sensors to track ‘fall risk’ in older adults and others on progress and rehabilitation in kids with cerebral palsy. Those were all fun, it was nice to work with patients and clinicians using our platform.
We’ve also had a few projects involving patients with pulmonary hypertension which have been really interesting to work on. As we’ve moved into the heart failure space, we’ve learned a lot about the relationship between the heart and the autonomic nervous system in various disorders. The autonomic nervous system is connected to many different physiological systems and involved in a vast number of disease processes. It’s very valuable to have a reliable way to track this remotely.
The company has gone through a lot of changes, what’s that been like?
Yes, there have been a lot of changes in the years since I joined! But the changes have been positive, and the team’s culture and ambition have stayed the same — we’re the same nerdy, fun-loving group working to radically change healthcare through neural digital therapies. There are just more of us now!
If you enjoyed this blog, check out our Life @ BIOS series, or read our whitepaper: UNDERSTANDING THE BODY’S LANGUAGE TO TREAT CHRONIC DISEASE: Decoding the Neural Control of the Heart.